Planet Rugby

Preview: Bath v Harlequins

15th April 2011 13:36


Matt Carraro tackles George Lowe Harlequins v Bath

West Country derby: Bath host Quins

After cementing a semi-final place last week in the Amlin Challenge Cup, Quins travel down to the Rec to take on West Country rivals Bath.

Quins fans will be delighted to see the return of Chris Robshaw to the starting line-up, after the Quins captain was absent from the Wasps game due to a deep cut to the knee. Will Skinner starts on the bench.

There are two further changes to last week's bench. Chris Brooker, who will undergo surgery on his shoulder next week, is replaced by Matt Cairns and Ross Chisholm replaces Tom Williams.

Ceri Jones, John Andress and Joe Gray link together in the front row, with Ollie Kohn and George Robson continuing their second row partnership. Maurie Fa'asavalu, Chris Robshaw and Nick Easter make up the back row.

It was two tries in two weeks for Danny Care, who will look to continue his halfback pairing with last week's man of the match, Nick Evans. Jordan Turner-Hall and George Lowe start in the centres with Ugo Monye and Gonzalo Camacho retaining their positions on the wings. Mike Brown starts at full back.

Meanwhile, following on from last weekend's win against Exeter Chiefs at the Rec, Bath forwards coach Martin Haag explains the challenge that Quins will hold on Saturday.

"We know this is a big game, especially as it is at home. We haven't had the best home form this season, and we only have two home games left so we are really looking to go for it," he said.

"Quins have been playing some great rugby recently, and we know they have some good strengths, but this is about us and our game.

"We know what we need to do - we showed glimpses of it at the weekend, but need to do that for a full 80 minutes and from the kick-off.

"The lads want to play, and the conditions are pretty good at the moment, so if the boys work hard and keep focused, we'll hopefully get the result and a good win."

Form: The two sides drew 6-all when they met at the Twickenham Stoop in October - the first time they had shared a draw since 1992. Quins have won just once at The Rec since 2005: 19-3 on 4 April 2009. Bath ended a three-game losing run with their 26-18 home win over Exeter on Saturday. Bath's only defeat at The Rec in their last six matches in all competitions was 6-37 to Leicester on March 26. Harlequins have won two of their last three matches and defeated Wasps on Friday to become the only English side to reach the semi-finals of the Amlin Challenge Cup. Quins have lost their last three away games in the Aviva Premiership.

The teams:

Bath: 15 Sam Vesty, 14 Matt Banahan, 13 Matt Carraro, 12 Shontayne Hape, 11 Nick Abendanon, 10 Butch James, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Stuart Hooper, 5 Danny Grewcock, 4 Peter Short, 3 David Wilson, 2 Lee Mears, 1 David Flatman.
Replacements: 16 Pieter Dixon, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Duncan Bell, 19 Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe, 20 Josh Ovens, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Tom Biggs, 23 Nick Scott.

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Gonzalo Camacho, 13 George Lowe, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Chris Robshaw (c), 6 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 5 George Robson, 4 Ollie Kohn, 3 John Andress, 2 Joe Gray1 Ceri Jones.
Replacements: 16 Matt Cairns, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 James Johnston, 19 Tomas Vallejos, 20 Will Skinner, 21 Dave Moore, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Ross Chisholm.

Date: Saturday 16 April
Venue: The Rec
Kick-off: 14:15 BST
Referee: Andrew Small

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