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Preview: Bath v Harlequins

04th November 2011 13:01

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Danny Care

Danny Care: England scrum-half to make his comeback off bench

This week sees Harlequins on the road to take on Bath at the Rec in Round Eight of the Aviva Premiership.

Following last week's win against Exeter, Conor O'Shea has no further injury concerns and a number of players returning available for action.

The starting back line remains the same as that from Exeter, but Danny Care will look to make his return from injury from the bench sitting alongside Rory Clegg and Matt Hopper covering the backs.

Joe Gray comes into the front row alongside Joe Marler and James Johnston with Chris Brooker reverting to the bench.

The back five sees Olly Kohn and George Robson in familiar territory partnering in the second row; however the back row sees Maurie Fa'asavalu making his first league start of the season alongside Chris Robshaw and Nick Easter.

Luke Wallace will cover the back-row positions.

Up front, Nic Mayhew returns to the bench to cover the front row with Chris Brooker and Kyle Sinckler. Tomas Vallejos is also on the bench with Luke Wallace covering the back five.

Meanwhile, Bath have made just three changes to the starting line-up which secured victory over London Irish last weekend.

David Wilson comes into the front row to make his first start of the season, with Anthony Perenise taking his place on the bench. Nathan Catt and Lee Mears make up the remainder of the front row.

Stuart Hooper and Dave Attwood both continue in the engine room.

Further back in the pack, Francois Louw returns on the openside, joining Ben Skirving and Simon Taylor in the back row. Sam Vesty and Michael Claassens continue their half-back partnership at fly-half and scrum-half respectively.

The only other change comes in the backline, with Dan Hipkiss returning to the starting line-up and partnering Matt Carraro in the centres. Tom Biggs and Olly Woodburn feature on the wings with Nick Abendanon completing the line-up at full-back.

Form: Bath Rugby have won three successive matches in all competitions, whilst their only reversal at The Rec in their last seven Aviva Premiership Rugby encounters was 26-28 to Saracens on 10 September. Table topping Harlequins, with nine wins in all competitions, have made the best ever start to a season by an English top-flight side since Quins themselves won the first ten games of the 1996/97 season. Harlequins are without a win in their last three clashes with Bath, and have won just one of their last six visits to The Rec in all competitions: 19-3 in the Premiership on 4 April 2009.

The teams:

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Dan Hipkiss, 12 Matt Carraro, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Sam Vesty, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Ben Skirving, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 David Wilson, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Nathan Catt.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Ryan Caldwell, 20 Guy Mercer, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Tom Heathcote, 23 Jack Cuthbert.

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Seb Stegmann, 13 George Lowe, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Sam Smith, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Nick Easter, 7 Chris Robshaw, 6 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 5 George Robson, 4 Olly Kohn, 3 James Jonston, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Chris Brooker, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Kyle Sickler, 19 Tomas Vallejos, 20 Luke Wallace, 21 Danny Care, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Matt Hopper.

Date: Saturday, November 5
Venue: Recreation Ground
Kick-off: 14:15 GMT
Referee: Dean Richards

  • Bath Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , December 20
Gloucester vs Bath15:00
Saturday , December 27
Bath vs Exeter15:00
Saturday , January 3
Leicester vs Bath15:00
Saturday , January 10
Bath vs Wasps15:00
Sunday , February 15
Saracens vs Bath15:00
Saturday , February 21
Bath vs Northampton15:00
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European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , December 5
Montpellier vs Bath19:45
Friday , December 12
Bath vs Montpellier19:45
Saturday , January 17
Toulouse vs BathTBC
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  • Bath Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Saturday , November 15
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 8
Exeter 18 - 6 BathExeter vs Bath Report
Saturday , November 1
Bath 47 - 7 London Welsh
More LV= Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Bath 19 - 21 Toulouse
Saturday , October 18
Glasgow 37 - 10 Bath
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , October 12
Wasps 29 - 22 Bath
More Aviva Premiership results
  • Table
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821