Preview: London Welsh v Bath

Date published: March 27 2015

1022.6666666666666x767__origin__0x0_Dean_Scholfield_London_Welsh_v_Harlequins_Aviva_Premiership_2015

London Welsh have made six changes to their starting XV for Sunday's clash with Bath at the Kassam Stadium.

Sunday will be Rowland Phillips' first match in charge of the Exiles after taking over as head coach from Justin Burnell. Phillips had joined London Welsh in November as defence coach.

In the backs, Seb Jewell returns at fullback and team captain Tom May at inside centre.

In the forwards, Koree Britton comes in at hooker and Ben Cooper at tighthead prop. Dean Schofield starts in the second row and Carl Kirwan returns to the side at openside flanker.

The London Welsh starting XV includes seven members of its Championship winning team of last season, with four more named on the bench.

Sunday will be the third meeting between the sides this season – Bath winning 53-26 in the Premiership at The Rec and 47-7 in the LV= Cup, also at The Rec.

The last time Bath visited the Kassam Stadium the Exiles came out on top 16-9 in November 2012 thanks to Nick Scott's last-gasp interception try.

Meanwhile, Bath  have made four changes to the starting line-up from their previous Aviva Premiership outing.
 
Micky Young comes in at scrum-half, with the rest of the backs unchanged from Bath's victory against Sale Sharks in Round 17.

Young partners fly-half Ollie Devoto, with Kyle Eastmond and Sam Burgess in the midfield and Olly Woodburn and Semesa Rokoduguni on the wings.

Tom Homer, who kicked all of Bath's points against Sale, continues at full-back.
 
Loosehead Nick Auterac and hooker Rob Webber remain in the front row, while Kane Palma-Newport replaces the injured Henry Thomas at tighthead.
 
Captain Stuart Hooper and Dominic Day start their fifth consecutive match together in the second row.

Meanwhile, Carl Fearns moves to the blindside as Leroy Houston returns at eight. Alafoti Faosiliva starts at openside flanker for the first time this season, in what promises to be a dynamic, ball-carrying back row.

Form: London Welsh's most recent victory at the Kassam Stadium came last year against Bristol in the first leg of the Championship playoff. Bath's 12-3 victory over Sale on March 6 ended a four-game losing streak in all competitions. Bath have lost all of their away games in the Premiership so far this year. The two sides have met on three previous occasions in the league, with Welsh winning 16-9 when Bath visited the Kassam in 2012.

The teams:

London Welsh: 15 Seb Jewell, 14 Seb Stegmann, 13 Nic Reynolds, 12 Tom May (c), 11 Alan Awcock, 10 Tristan Roberts, 9 Rob Lewis, 8 Opeti Fonua, 7 Carl Kirwan, 6 Lachlan McCaffrey, 5 James Down, 4 Dean Schofield, 3 Ben Cooper, 2 Koree Britton, 1 Nathan Trevett.
Replacements: 16 Nathan Morris, 17 Eddie Aholelei, 18. Jack Gilding, 19 Ben West, 20 Richard Thorpe, 21. Paul Rowley, 22 Will Robinson, 23. James Lewis.16 Nathan Morris, 17 Eddie Aholelei, 18. Jack Gilding, 19 Ben West, 20 Richard Thorpe, 21. Paul Rowley, 22 Will Robinson, 23. James Lewis.

Bath: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Sam Burgess, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Ollie Devoto, 9 Micky Young, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Alafoti Faosiliva, 6 Carl Fearns, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 Kane Palma-Newport, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Nick Auterac.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Beno Obano, 18 Max Lahiff, 19 Matt Garvey, 20 David Sisi, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Matt Banahan, 23 Horacio Agulla.

Date: Sunday, March 29
Venue: Kassam Stadium, Oxford
Kickoff: 14:30 local (13:30 GMT)
Referee: Thomas Foley
Assistant Referees: Peter Huckle, Paul Burton
TMO: David Sainsbury

COMMENTS