Planet Rugby

Preview: Bath v Saracens

09th September 2011 11:48

Share:

Dave Attwood

Attwood: Set for Bath debut

Bath summer signing Dave Attwood will make his debut for the club when they host Saracens on Saturday.

The former Gloucester and England man comes into the second-row to partner Ryan Caldwell with Will Spencer slotting into the reserves.

Having got their Aviva Premiership campaign off to a winning start with victory over Newcastle last week, forwards coach Martin Haag is keen to maintain the momentum.

"We're preparing for Saracens this week in the same way that we prepared for Newcastle last week, but we know it's going to be a sterner test. They are the present champions and have competed brilliantly with Leicester over the last two years. It's a big test for us and one we are looking forward to," said Haag.

"It's our first game in front of our home crowd. I expect the crowd to be in good voice and confident, and we'll be the same. We've got a chance to play one of the teams that turned us over at home last season and we need to make sure we do a job and come away with a win."

Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall has the luxury of fielding an unchanged starting XV for the trip to the Recreation Ground.

The only changes to the Sarries squad come on the replacements bench where prop Mako Vunipola slots in for the injured Petrus du Plessis (shoulder). Should either Vunipola or winger Joe Maddock get a run out off the bench, they will be make their debut for the club.

Form: Bath have gained six successive victories in Aviva Premiership since their 9-20 reversal at Saracens on 3 April. Bath's only defeat in their last eight games at the Rec in all competitions was 6-37 to Leicester on 26 March. Saracens were defeated 20-15 by London Wasps at Twickenham on Saturday but have not lost back to back Aviva Premiership encounters in the same season since 2009/10. Sarries have won their last five away matches in the competition and another victory will equal their own club record in this category, set in 1997/98. Bath's only win in their last five encounters with Saracens in all competitions was a 16-14 in the Premiership at Vicarage Road on 28 February 2010. Sarries have won on their last two visits to the Rec.

The teams:

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Matt Carraro, 13 Dan Hipkiss, 12 Ben Williams, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Sam Vesty, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Carl Fearns, 6 Ben Skirving, 5 Ryan Caldwell, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 Kane Palma-Newport, 2 Pieter Dixon, 1 David Flatman (capt)
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Duncan Bell, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Guy Mercer, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Paul Roberts, 23 Jack Cuthbert

Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 David Strettle, 13 Adam Powell, 12 Brad Barritt, 11 James Short, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Neil de Kock, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Andy Saull, 6 Justin Melck, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Steve Borthwick (capt), 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Deon Carstens, 18 Mako Vunipola, 19 George Kruis, 20 Will Fraser, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Charlie Hodgson, 23 Joe Maddock.

Date: Saturday, September 10
Venue: Recreation Ground
Kick-off: 15.15 BST (14.15 GMT)
Referee: Greg Garner

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne vs Montpellier20:45
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle vs Toulouse14:45
Lyon vs Brive18:30
Oyonnax vs Stade Francais18:30
Castres vs Bay Of Plenty18:30
Grenoble vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 29
Pumas vs Sharks19:10
Saturday , August 30
Griquas vs Cheetahs15:00
Blue Bulls vs Western Province17:05
Eastern Province Kings vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Preview
Friday , August 29
Wellington vs ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Preview
Saturday , August 30
Counties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay14:35
Southland vs Otago17:35
North Harbour vs Waikato19:35
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs Tasman16:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Stade Francais 23 - 20 Lyon
Bordeaux-Begles 30 - 21 Racing Metro Paris
Montpellier 20 - 17 GrenobleMontpellier vs Grenoble Report
Toulon 60 - 19 La Rochelle
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Blue Bulls 30 - 25 Eastern Province KingsBlue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Sharks 19 - 16 CheetahsSharks vs Cheetahs Report
Western Province 27 - 14 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Northland 35 - 5 WellingtonNorthland vs Wellington Report
Counties Manukau 29 - 25 OtagoCounties Manukau vs Otago Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse 35 - 6 CastresToulouse vs Castres Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 33 - 15 GriquasPumas vs Griquas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 27 - 58 CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Report
Hawkes Bay 29 - 26 TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Report
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00