Planet Rugby

Preview: Bath v Wasps

20th April 2012 13:23

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SKY_MOBILE Stuart Hooper - Bath

Hooper - 100 up.

Dai Young's Wasps outfit head to Bath with the knowledge that a win will go a long way to assuring their Premiership survival.

The London outfit are currently languishing second from bottom on the Aviva Premiership table, four points clear of basement dwellers Newcastle.

Wasps and Newcastle face off on the final day of the season and as such Saturday's game against Bath has extra importance.

Young has made three changes to his team, with one coming among the backs and the other two in the pack.

An injured Ryan Davis misses out on the opportunity to lock horns with his old club and he is replaced by Dom Waldouck at inside centre.

In the pack, Joe Launchbury moves from the back-row to lock, with Sam Jones shifting to number six and Billy Vunipola taking over at number eight.

"It's obviously a massive game tomorrow and the boys are well aware of what's at stake," said Young.

"We've got to be much more accurate than we have been and get off to a strong start. We're up against a side full of quality so we're in no doubt as to the challenge that we're going to face."

Bath skipper Stuart Hooper will make his 100th appearance for the club as he lead's out a team that includes four changes to the one that lost to Sale.

In the only change to the back division, young gun Tom Heathcote is replaced at fly-half by World Cup-winner Stephen Donald.

It's almost all change in the front row with prop Nathan Catt the only survivor from last week's game. He will be joined up front by David Wilson and Lee Mears.

Ben Skirving switches from flank to lock at the expense of Dave Attwood, with Josh Ovens taking over the number six shirt.

Rugby Union betting odds

Form: Bath Rugby have slipped to four straight reversals in all competitions since beating Worcester at The Rec on 3 March. Bath have lost three of their last four home games. London Wasps' only win in their last four matches was 26-24 at home to Gloucester in Aviva Premiership Rugby on 1 April. Wasps only away victory since November was 32-11 at Rovigo in the European Challenge Cup on 14 January. Wasps won 27-24 when the two teams met at Adams Park in round six, but have not achieved a season's double over Bath since 2007/08. The Londoners have won on their last two visits to The Rec.

Bath:15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Matt Carraro, 13 Matt Banahan, 12 Olly Barkley, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Carl Fearns, 6 Josh Ovens, 5 Ben Skirving, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 David Wilson, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Nathan Catt.
Replacements: 16 Pieter Dixon, 17 David Flatman, 18 Duncan Bell, 19 Dave Attwood, 20 Guy Mercer, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Sam Vesty, 23 Kyle Eastmond.

Wasps: 15 Jack Wallace, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Dominic Waldouck, 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Nick Robinson, 9 Charlie Davies, 8 Billy Vunipola, 7 Jonathan Poff, 6 Sam Jones, 5 Richard Birkett (c), 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Ben Broster, 2 Tom Lindsay, 1 Tim Payne.
Replacements: 16 Vladislav Korshunov, 17 Zac Taulafo, 18 Simon McIntyre, 19 Ross Filipo, 20 Tinus Du Plessis, 21 Nic Berry, 22 Chris Mayor, 23 Lee Robinson.

Date: Saturday, April 21
Venue: The Recreation Ground
Kick-off: 14:15 (13:15 GMT)
Referee: David Pearson
Assistant referees: Gareth Copsey, Paul Burton
Television match official: Ed Morrison

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