Preview: Bath v Harlequins

Date published: October 30 2015

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Six changes have been made to the Bath starting line-up for Saturday's Premiership clash with Harlequins at the Recreation Ground.

Five of the changes come in the pack, with Max Lahiff, Rob Webber and David Wilson forming a new front-row. Dominic Day comes into the second-row to make his first club start of the season alongside the weekend's captain, Dave Attwood. Openside flanker Guy Mercer comes into a back-row featuring blindside Matt Garvey and number eight Leroy Houston.

In the only change to last weekend's backline, Matt Banahan steps in on the left wing, as Anthony Watson shifts to full-back. Kyle Eastmond and Ollie Devoto are again named in the midfield, with Niko Matawalu and George Ford also set to enjoy a second outing together in the half-backs.

Meanwhile, Harlequins have made six changes to the starting team which played Leicester Tigers last week.

Joe Marler, Joe Gray, Chris Robshaw, Nick Easter and club captain Danny Care make their first starts of the season, while Tim Visser, who starts on the wing, makes his senior debut for Harlequins.

Among the replacements, Luke Wallace and Karl Dickson are named.

Back-row forward Netani Talei suffered a knee injury during Monday's match with the Dragons. The Fijian is expected to be out for a considerable period of time and a further update will be provided following consultation with a specialist.

Form: Bath's only defeat at the Recreation Ground in the last fifteen Aviva Premiership fixtures at the venue was to Northampton Saints in February. Bath have lost two of their last three encounters in the tournament, including last year's final. Harlequins have won just one of their last four Aviva Premiership Rugby matches: 26-21 over Wasps at the Twickenham Stoop in round 1, whilst their only victory on the road in the tournament since January came at Sale Sharks in April. Harlequins have beaten Bath just once in any tournament since April 2013: 19-16 at home in May 2014 whilst they have not been victorious at the Recreation Ground since November 2011.

The teams

Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Ollie Devoto, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 George Ford, 9 Niko Matawalu, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Dave Attwood (c), 4 Dominic Day, 3 David Wilson, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Max Lahiff.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Stuart Hooper, 20 Max Northcote-Green, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Rhys Priestland, 23 Tom Homer.

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 George Lowe, 12 Harry Sloan, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care (c), 8 Nick Easter, 7 Chris Robshaw, 6 Jack Clifford, 5 Sam Twomey, 4 James Horwill, 4 James Horwill, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Joe Marler.

Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Luke Wallace, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Ben Botica 23, Ollie Lindsay-Hague.

Date: Saturday, October 31
Venue: Recreation Ground
Kick-off: 13:30 GMT
Referee: Matthew Carley
Assistant referees: Andrew Pearce, Roy Maybank
Television match official: David Sainsbury
Timekeeper: Matthew Peters
Assessor: Martin Fox

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