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Preview: Worcester v Bath

24th November 2011 12:28

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Lewis Moody Bath

To skipper: Lewis Moody

Bath have made four changes to the starting line-up that secured victory over Montpellier as they prepare to face Worcester at Sixways on Friday.

Charlie Beech comes in to the front-row to make his first Premiership start, packing down with Mark Lilley and Anthony Perenise. David Flatman and David Wilson shift to the bench, with hooker Will Tanner joining them.

Dave Attwood partners Ryan Caldwell in the second row, with Stuart Hooper taking his place on the bench. Elsewhere in the pack, Lewis Moody will captain the side as he continues in the back row with Francois Louw and Simon Taylor.

Meanwhile, hooker Ed Shervington and back row Matt Kvesic both win call-ups as the Aviva Premiership resumes.

Head Coach Richard Hill makes only two changes to the side that drew with Newcastle Falcons earlier this month.

Shervington starts in the hooker jersey while Kvesic will pack down at Number Eight with Chris Jones moving to lock with James Percival (hand) ruled out.

A number of changes on the bench see Scotland international Bruce Douglas and James Currie both named.

Ben Gulliver could make his Aviva Premiership debut for the club while fit again scrum half Jonny Arr is recalled to the bench and Jake Abbott returns to the match day squad after missing the game in the North East through illness.

Kai Horstmann, Adam Balding and Oliver Tomaszczyk miss the fixture with hamstring injuries while Alex Crockett, George Porter and Ceri Jones are also ruled out.

"We have rested up a few players over the weekend and didn't take the full squad to Parma so we are full of energy," said Hill.

"Bath are a class outfit and have a high quality squad. I watched the game against Montpellier and it is an outstanding team. You have only got to look at their back row and half backs with the likes of Francois Louw, Simon Taylor, Lewis Moody, Michael Claassens and Stephen Donald.

"That is something special and when you add the likes of Olly Barkley, Matt Banahan and Sam Vesty outside it. But we are looking forward to the challenge and we will get in amongst them."

Form: Worcester Warriors' 34-3 victory against Crociati in Parma in the European Challenge Cup on Saturday ended a five game winless run. The Warriors solo Aviva Premiership Rugby victory since May 2010 was 12-3 at home to Northampton on 30 September. Bath Rugby beat French Top-14 runners up Montpellier 16-13 at the Rec on Sunday. Bath lost 13-26 at home to table topping Harlequins last time out in the Premiership but have not suffered back to back defeats in the tournament since March. The Warriors have lowered Bath's colours just once in 14 previous meetings in all competitions: 21-15 at Sixways in the Premiership on 3 March 2007.

The teams:

Worcester: 15 Errie Claassens, 14 Marcel Garvey, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Dale Rasmussen (c), 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Joe Carlisle, 9 Shaun Perry, 8 Matt Kvesic, 7 Sam Betty, 6 Neil Best, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 Chris Jones, 3 Tevita Taumoepeau, 2 Ed Shervington, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Bruce Douglas, 17 Aleki Lutui, 18 James Currie, 19 Ben Gulliver, 20 Jake Abbott, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Andy Goode, 23 Chris Pennell.

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Dan Hipkiss, 12 Sam Vesty, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Lewis Moody (c), 6 Francois Louw, 5 Ryan Caldwell, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Mark Lilley, 1 Charlie Beech.
Replacements: 16 Will Tanner, 17 David Flatman, 18 David Wilson, 19 Stuart Hooper, 20 Guy Mercer, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Olly Barkley, 23 Jack Cuthbert.

Date: Friday, November 25
Kick-off: 19:45
Venue: Sixways
Referee: Martin Fox

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