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Food & drink


Kane Palma-Newport shows us his carving skills


Bath Rugby taking some well-earned time out


HIGH ON THE HOG


The arrival of spring recently inspired Bath Rugby to make the most of its countryside location and indulge in a favourite West Country pastime: the outdoor hog roast, writes BAZZ BARRETT. Photos by Leon Day


of a traditionally fi erce local derby with Gloucester Rugby the decision was made to bring the squad together for a team feast in the comfortable surroundings of the Fox at Broughton Gifford. With much of the meal prepared and


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served by many of the players themselves, this would prove to be a hog roast with a difference. Sixty or so expectant and hungry men – most of whom have twice


rest day for most professional sporting outfi ts normally involves players embarking on their own leisurely pursuits, but ahead


the appetite of the average man – were waiting to be fed, so there was pressure to get everything just right on the day. Olly Woodburn and Rich Lane, coming off the back of the previous night’s victory against Somerset County, arrived early doors to freshly bake the bucketloads of bread that would be consumed later in the afternoon. And under the watchful eye of the Fox chefs, Ben Williams and Mat Gilbert created two delicious garnishes to complement the meal. “A substantial hog was prepared for the


Ross Batty relaxing with teammates Dom Day and Ryan Caldwell


squad which is usually meant for a party of 150 people,” said Paul Banahan, general manager of the Fox, who previously hosted a Bath Rugby coffee making masterclass at the establishment. “But this squad of less than half that number demolished it in just under an hour with ease. I wouldn’t like to see the bill for their weekly food shop!” The pig in question was a fi ne Gloucester Old Spot from Church Farm – just a stone’s throw from the Fox. Whilst for some of the foreign players in the squad, this was their fi rst experience of the West Country hog roast, a certain few are well-versed in preparing their respective country’s own style of outdoor feed. For instance, Francois Louw is adept at preparing a ‘braai’ (Afrikaans for ‘grill’) in his native South Africa, while Anthony


Perenise and Leroy Houston can ‘put down a hangi’ (effectively an oven in the soil) in New Zealand. Most men fancy themselves as


head chefs at the barbecue, but it was prop Kane Palma-Newport – a keen outdoorsman with a penchant for falconry – who took it upon himself to carve the hog for his teammates, most of whom wasted little in time in coming back for seconds (and, in some instances, thirds). The day out provided a much-needed opportunity for the players to get together in a relaxed environment and take a breather from the rigours of the professional game. “We’ve come off the back of a couple of really tough games,” said Ross Batty, a self-professed culinary enthusiast. “For us to be able to just sit in the sun, eating some delicious food and enjoying each other’s company off the fi eld is very important.” An afternoon in the sun at the Fox,


chowing down on a hefty roasted hog proved to be just the tonic for these modern-day warriors. Bath would go on to beat Gloucester at Kingsholm for the fi rst time in eight years that weekend, meaning the players can more than likely look forward to a few more team feasts to come. BL


www.thefox-broughtongifford.co.uk www.mediaclash.co.uk Bath Life 57


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