Bath Rugby are hoping their fans will turn the air blue on Sunday when they play Saracens in the semi-final of the European Challenge Cup.

The club are giving away flags to those fans making the trip up the M4 to Saracens’ Vicarage Road stadium, a ground shared with Premiership soccer side Watford with a 22,000 capacity.

And Bath management will give the players a lift for the crunch semi-final that offers them their final hope of silverware this season.

An army of flag waving fans is a trick employed by the heavyweights of European rugby, often to winning effect.

Leicester Tigers, Biarritz Olympique Pays Basque, Stade Francais Paris and Toulouse have a great tradition of passionate support from the stands and commentators often refer to the flag bearing fans as a 16th man.

If league position is anything to go by, Bath will need all the help they can get. The west country side – winners of the Heineken Cup in 1998 – are languishing near the foot of the Guinness Premiership while their opponents are in fourth spot and in fine form.

Fans who wish to take advantage of Bath’s offer are urged to visit the Bath shop with their match tickets as soon as possible as flag numbers are limited.