Planet Rugby

Preview: Bath v Ospreys

13th November 2009 14:08


Luke Watson hattrick

Luke Watson: Set for a Bath debut

The Ospreys are shorn of no fewer than 34 players due to international call-ups and injury for the LV= Cup clash with Bath on Saturday.

James Goode makes his Ospreys debut after arriving on trial last week while James King and Justin Tipuric make their first starts for the region after debuting over the last two weeks.

Will Taylor and Hanno Dirksen will make their Ospreys debuts if they come off the bench during the game. Ross Davies made his Ospreys debut as a replacement last weekend, and along with Richard Kelly and Matthew Jarvis has just one Ospreys appearance to date.

Rhys Webb returns to action ahead of schedule following ACL and shoulder reconstructions at the end of April.

Meanwhile, Bath Head Coach Steve Meehan will be looking for yet another strong performance from the team, especially the younger players who will be challenging for future match time.

"We went out against a very good Saracens side," admitted Meehan. "And we chose to give some players that were coming back from injury, and some of our younger players who have been training very well, the opportunity to play.

"If you took the score line out of it we probably got a lot more out of the game than Saracens did with regards to knowing a bit more about some of our players and where we are as a squad. I am pretty happy with that."

Academy player Scott Hobson scored a try for Bath and Ben Williams made a very impressive start against Saracens and both will be featuring again against the Ospreys.

"Scott Hobson was very good, as was Ben Williams and Guy Mercer who came on for the last 25 minutes. There was a good return from injury from Daniel Browne who has been out of the game for quite some time now and if he improves with game time, like I expect him to, he will be putting pressure on the back row that is currently in place."

Due to a shoulder injury to Rhys Crane, Academy winger Nick Scott gets a place on the bench and with David Barnes having sustained an injury during England training, he is replaced on the bench by David Flatman.

Luke Watson makes his debut for Bath and whilst he is on the bench Meehan is sure to give him a good run out against the welsh side.

"Watson will get a decent bit of game time so we can see what he has got to offer," said Meehan.

"What we want to do is improve on the things we have been working on in training and give particularly our young players a good run out, this time in front of their home supporters, and I hope they deliver the same sort of performance as they did last week."

Form: Bath Rugby have won just one of their last eleven matches in all competitions: 25-12 at Sale in the Premiership on 18 September. Bath have not won at The Rec since a 33-18 victory over Saracens in the Premiership on 25 April. Bath have won two of their last three matches against Welsh opponents. Ospreys are now winless in their last three encounters in all competitions following their narrow 17-19 home defeat to Northampton in the LV= Cup last Thursday. Ospreys have recorded three successive defeats in the Anglo-Welsh tournament. The two teams have met twice before, both in this competition in October 2005 and October 2006 with each side winning once away from home.

The teams:

Bath: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Joe Maddock, 13 Tom Cheeseman, 12 Ben Williams, 11 Michael Stephenson, 10 Ryan Davis, 9 Mike Baxter, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Andy Beattie, 5 Peter Short (c), 4 Scott Hobson, 3 Aaron Jarvis, 2 Rob Hawkins, 1 Nathan Catt.
Replacemnts: 16 Lee Mears, 17 David Flatman, 18 Mark Lilley, 19 Daniel Browne, 20 Luke Watson, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Paul Roberts, 23 Nick Scott.

Ospreys: 15 Barry Davies, 14 Nicky Thomas, 13 Sonny Parker, 12 Andrew Bishop, 11 Ashley Beck, 10 Gareth Owen, 9 Liam Davies, 8 Tom Smith, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Jerry Collins (c), 5 James Goode, 4 James King, 3 Cai Griffiths, 2 Ed Shervington, 1 Ryan Bevington.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Will Taylor, 18 Ross Davies, 19 Richard Kelly, 20 Steve Tandy, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Matthew Jarvis, 23 Hanno Dirksen.

Date: Saturday, November 14
Venue: The Rec
Kick-off: 12.30 GMT
Referee: Sean Davey

  • LV= Cup Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
All times are local
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Northampton vs Newcastle15:00
Sale vs Wasps15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Ospreys vs Newport Gwent D'gons15:00
Cardiff Blues vs Scarlets15:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
Sunday , November 2
Saracens vs Harlequins13:00
Saturday , November 8
Scarlets vs Northampton15:00
Ospreys vs Saracens15:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
  • LV= Cup Table
Group A
LV= Cup Table
3London Irish46
Group B
LV= Cup Table
2Sale Sharks412
3Cardiff Blues410
4Leicester Tigers49
Group C
LV= Cup Table
Group D
LV= Cup Table
2Newcastle Falcons49