Preview: Bath v Northampton

Date published: December 4 2015

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_Jonathan_Joseph_Bath

Centre Jonathan Joseph makes his first club appearance of the season in Bath's Premiership match against Northampton Saints.

Joseph returns from injury to partner inside centre Ollie Devoto in the midfield, with the back three comprising wings Matt Banahan and Semesa Rokoduguni, with Anthony Watson at fullback.

Chris Cook, a replacement during last weekend's match against Leicester Tigers, starts this weekend at scrum-half alongside fly-half George Ford. 

Nick Auterac, Rob Webber and Henry Thomas are named in the front row, as Dave Attwood returns to the second row, where Academy lock Tom Ellis also starts.

Openside Francois Louw captains the team, with blindside Matt Garvey and number eight Leroy Houston also reprising their roles in the back row. 

Meanwhile, Northampton have made four changes to the team that began last weekend's home game with Gloucester.

Jamie Elliott, JJ Hanrahan, Ethan Waller and Teimana Harrison all come into the XV, with James Craig and hooker Reece Marshall joining the replacements' bench.

Form: Bath have won just one of their last four Premiership rugby fixtures: 45-14 at London Irish in Round Four. Bath were defeated in their most recent Premiership rugby home game by Harlequins in Round Three and have not lost back-to-back games in the tournament at the Recreation Ground since March 2014. Northampton Saints have won their last three matches in all competitions since going down 6-12 at home to Saracens in Premiership Rugby on 7 November. The Saints have not won away from home in the competition since they visited Bath on 21 February. Northampton are unbeaten in their last eight Premiership Rugby encounters with Bath since Bath won 38-8 at the Rec in February 2011.

The teams:

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

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden (c), 14 Jamie Elliott, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 JJ Hanrahan, 9 Kahn Fotuali’i, 8 Sam Dickinson, 7 Teimana Harrison, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Christian Day, 4 Michael Paterson, 3 Kieran Brookes, 2 Mikey Haywood, 1 Ethan Waller
Replacements: 16 Reece Marshall, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Victor Matfield, 20 James Craig, 21 Lee Dickson, 22 Stephen Myler, 23 Ken Pisi

Date: Saturday, December 5
Venue: The Recreation Ground
Kick-off: 15:15 GMT
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant Referees: Roger Baileff, Robin Goodliffe
TMO: Graham Hughes

COMMENTS