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LV=Cup Preview: Saturday

21st October 2011 12:20

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Matt Banahan

Matt Banahan: At 12 for Bath

Bath host Worcester, Northampton visit Ospreys and Wasps host the Dragons in Round Two of the LV=Cup on Saturday.

Fixtures:
Bath v Worcester
Ospreys v Northampton
Wasps v Dragons

Saturday, October 22

Bath v Worcester
Recreation Ground

Bath welcome all their returning World Cup players into the line-up for Saturday's game against Worcester Warriors at the Recreation Ground.

Anthony Perenise, Francois Louw, Matt Banahan, Lee Mears, David Wilson and Lewis Moody all feature in the 23 man squad, who will be looking to build momentum with a second win in the LV= Cup.

After an impressive debut appearance last week in the five point away win over the Dragons, Perenise makes his first start for the club, replacing Mark Lilley in the front row. He scrums down alongside Ross Batty and Nathan Catt.

South African flanker Louw makes his first appearance in Blue, Black and White, lining up in the back row with captain Andy Beattie and Ben Skirving at number eight.

Banahan continues at inside centre, with Dan Hipkiss returning outside him. Olly Woodburn starts again on the wing following his try scoring debut, with Nick Abendanon lining up on the opposite wing. Jack Cuthbert completes the backs line-up at full-back.

Mears, Wilson and Moody are named on the bench, along with Stuart Hooper who returns from injury.

Meanwhile, lock Ben Gulliver will start his first game for Worcester Warriors after being handed a call-up for the LV= Cup fixture with Bath.

Gulliver, a new recruit from Cornish Pirates, is one of two changes as Warriors look to build on the opening win in the competition over London Wasps last weekend.

Hooker Ollie Hayes is also named in the starting line-up for the first start while young stars Will Radburn and Nile Dacres are named among the replacements.

The coaching team of Richard Hill and Phil Davies opt to retain the same backline that scored two tries against Wasps while Sione Tu'ipulotu will aim for his first Warriors appearance from the bench.

Chris Pennell will again captain the team from outside centre.

"It will be a tough challenge at The Rec as we know that Bath have a strong group of players and a powerful squad that has been together for a while," said Davies.

"They have also added a lot of quality players in recent years, like Lewis Moody, Dan Hipkiss and Sam Vesty, so they will be strong and we know whatever side they put out it will be tough."

The teams:

Bath: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Dan Hipkiss, 12 Matt Banahan, 11 Nick Abendanon, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Chris Cook, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Andy Beattie (c), 5 Ryan Caldwell, 4 Will Spencer, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Ross Batty, 1 Nathan Catt.
Replacements: 16 Lee Mears, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 David Wilson, 19 Stuart Hooper, 20 Lewis Moody, 21 Matt Keyte, 22 Sam Vesty, 23 Tom Biggs.

Warriors: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Andy Short, 13 Chris Pennell (c), 12 Alex Crockett, 11 Josh Drauniniu, 10 Joe Carlisle, 9 Ollie Frost, 8 Adam Balding, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Sam Betty, 5 Ben Gulliver, 4 Chris Jones, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 2 Ollie Hayes, 1 George Porter.
Replacements: 16 Bruce Douglas, 17 Will Radburn, 18 James Currie, 19 Nile Dacres, 20 Richard Muagututia, 21 Danny Gray, 22 Sione Tu'ipulotu, 23 Mike Penn.

Referee: Luke Pearce (England)


Ospreys v Northampton
Brewery Field, Bridgend

Northampton Director of Rugby Jim Mallinder says that it's important that his team continues their recent momentum for Saturday's LV= Cup trip to the Ospreys.

The Saints head over the Severn to Bridgend with wins over Exeter Chiefs and Saracens under their belt.

And with the likes of Ben Foden and Chris Ashton being reintroduced into the Saints team - following hot on the heels of Dylan Hartley, Soane Tonga'uiha and Tom Wood last weekend - Mallinder says that there is a lot for the players coming in to live up to.

"The entire squad has played well in the past two games and we have had difficult selection decisions throughout the team," he said.

"The wins over the Chiefs and Saracens have set the standard for the next few weeks, especially in how we have played.

"There is plenty of competition for places and this has driven our standards up. The players are getting used to how each other play and we're beginning to see that on the field.

"But we are not viewing this as the end of the process. It is only the beginning and we have to get better and better with each game, starting on Saturday evening.

"The Ospreys have shown themselves to be a talented outfit this season, winning all their games in the Pro 12. They may have had a bad result last weekend, but we have been looking at their previous six matches and preparing for that.

"They have got plenty of talented players who will challenge us all over the field, and we will have to be on top form from the first whistle."

The teams:

Ospreys: 15 Ross Jones, 14 Tom Prydie, 13 Ben John, 12 Sonny Parker, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Matthew Morgan, 9 Tom Habberfield, 8 Morgan Allen, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 James King, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Tom Smith (c), 3 Aaron Jarvis, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Cai Griffiths
Replacements: 16 Mefin Davies, 17 Joe Rees, 18 Duncan Jones, 19 Richard Kelly, 20 Chauncey O'Toole, 21 Tom Grabham, 22 Will Price, 23 Barry Davies.

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Scott Armstrong, 12 James Downey, 11 Vasily Artemyev, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Roger Wilson, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Calum Clark, 5 Mark Sorenson, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Paul Doran Jones, 2 Dylan Hartley, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha.
Replacements: 16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Tom Mercey, 19 Samu Manoa, 20 Phil Dowson, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Stephen Myler, 23 Jon Clarke.

Referee: Neil Hennessy (Wales)


Wasps v Dragons
Adams Park

Wasps coach Dai Young has made makes six changes to his team for Saturday's LV= Cup clash with the Dragons.

John Hart and Marco Wentzel return to the pack and in the backs Tom Varndell, Hugo Southwell, Chris Bell and Nic Berry are all back in the team but the most significant name is on the bench.

Dom Waldouck is named as a replacement as he returns from six months out with injury.

World Cup returnees Joe Simpson and Zak Taulafo are both named on the bench as Wasps try to bounce back from last week's one-point defeat to Worcester.

Meanwhile, the Dragons head out to London this weekend for their first away match of the LV= Cup.

Whatever the result of the match, the Welsh club have one record guaranteed already.

Hallam Amos is set to make history as the youngest Welsh player to play regional rugby in any competition, when he makes his start on Saturday aged seventeen years and twenty-eight days.

"We don't take these decisions lightly," said Robert Beale, Director of Rugby at the Dragons,

"Hallam has come through the age grades and trained with the senior squad throughout the summer. This is a great opportunity for a talented young player."

"I've learnt a lot from training with the senior squad," said Amos,

"All of them to a man have been supportive and encouraging and there's a lot of camaraderie in the squad. Ashley Smith has been really helpful in giving me lifts since I don't drive yet."

Hallam's record might be short-lived, however. Jack Dixon, who could make his regional debut from the bench, is only sixteen years, three-hundred and thirteen days old.

Who ever ends up bringing home the record we can be sure that this will be a debut neither of them will forget.

The teams:

Dragons: 15 Hallam Amos, 14 Ifan Evans, 13 Adam Hughes, 12 Lewis Robling, 11 Mike Poole, 10 Steffan Jones, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Phil Price, 7 Rhys Buckley, 6 Nathan Buck, 5 Adam Jones, 4 Scott Morgan, 3 Jevon Groves, 2 Darren Waterss, 1 Tom Brown
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Hugh Gustafson, 18 Nathan Williams, 19 Ieuan Jones, 20 Hugo Ellis, 21 Joe Bedford, 22 Jack Dixon, 23 Matthew Jones.

Wasps: 15 Hugo Southwell, 14 Tom Varndell, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Chris Bell, 11 Chris Mayor, 10 Ryan Davis, 9 Nic Berry, 8 John Hart (c), 7 Matt Everard, 6 James Harris, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Ross Filipo, 3 Simon McIntyre, 2 Tom Lindsay, 1 Jeremy Castex.
Replacements: 16 Rob Webber, 17 Zac Taulafo, 18 Ben Broster, 19 Mike Powell, 20 Joe Burton, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Nick Robinson, 23 Dom Waldouck.

Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)

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