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Preview: Bath v Gloucester

24th October 2013 12:09

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Gloucester v Perpignan James Simpson Daniel

Record man: Simpson-Daniel

Bath are lifted by the return of several players including Rob Webber, Dave Attwood and Anthony Watson, for their derby with Gloucester on Friday.

Webber is joined in the front-row by the international duo of Paul James and Anthony Perenise, with the versatile Samoan prop shifting back to the tighthead. Attwood partners captain Stuart Hooper in the engine room, whilst Matt Garvey and Francois Louw are also back in the starting line-up on the blind and openside flanks. Carl Fearns continues at the base of the scrum.

The experience of Peter Stringer combines once more with the promising young talent of George Ford in the half-backs, as Matt Banahan reverts to the left wing and Semesa Rokoduguni comes back onto the right. Kyle Eastmond, released by England, returns to partner Jonathan Joseph in the midfield, with Watson named at full-back.

Meanwhile, Tom Savage returns to skipper Gloucester at the Rec on Friday, as the Cherry and Whites make several changes to the team that started in Munster last weekend.

Only six players are retained in the starting line-up from that Heineken Cup encounter in Limerick - the front-row of Dan Murphy, Darren Dawidiuk and Rupert Harden as well as Jonny May, Ryan Mills and Mike Tindall in the backs.

Freddie Burns and Matt Kvesic were released from England training camp on Wednesday and are named at fly half and openside flanker respectively.

James Simpson-Daniel will make his 183rd Premiership appearance for Gloucester, and overtakes Peter Buxton in the process to become Gloucester's top appearance maker.

Form: Bath were victorious in their opening two Amlin Challenge Cup ties against Bordeaux-Begles and the Dragons. Bath's last four matches in Aviva Premiership Rugby have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst they have a 100 per cent winning record in the Premiership at The Rec in 2013. Gloucester'ss most recent Premiership encounter ended in a 12-29 defeat at home to Exeter Chiefs. Gloucester's only victory in their last seven away matches in all competitions was 22-16 at Newcastle Falcons in round four of the Premiership. Bath have won their last two fixtures with Gloucester in all tournaments whilst Gloucester's recent record at The Rec is a creditable won 3, lost 2.

The teams:

Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12Kyle Eastmond, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 George Ford, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Carl Fearns, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Alafoti Fa'osiliva, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Gavin Henson, 23 Horacio Agulla.

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 James Simpson-Daniel, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Jonny May, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Tom Savage (capt), 5 James Hudson, 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Dan Murphy.
Replacements: 16 Huia Edmonds, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 James Gibbons, 19 Will James, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Charlie Sharples, 23 Akapusi Qera.

Date: Friday, October 25
Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Venue: Recreation Ground
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Paul Burton, Paul Dix
Television match official: Sean Davey
Timekeeper: Clive Leeke
Assessor: Tony Spreadbury

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Bath vs Saracens19:45
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Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00