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Preview: Leicester v Bath

03rd January 2014 09:52

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Toby Flood Leicester AVP 2013

Toby Flood: Starts at 12 for Tigers

Toby Flood returns to captain Leicester Tigers in Sunday's Aviva Premiership clash with Bath at Welford Road.

Club captain and first-choice fly-half Flood is back in action after missing two league games due to injury and takes the number 12 shirt after Dan Bowden was ruled out by fractures to cheekbone and eye-socket during the match against Sale Sharks last Saturday.

Anthony Allen is still on his way back to full fitness after a calf muscle injury.

Miles Benjamin returns on the wing, Jordan Crane starts at number eight and former Bath hooker Rob Hawkins is included in the squad for the first time this season on his recovery from injury.

Meanwhile, Nick Abendanon comes in at full-back for Bath. His selection means that in-form youngster Anthony Watson shifts to the right wing, with former Tiger Horacio Agulla taking a spot on the bench.

The midfield partnership of Jonathan Joseph and Kyle Eastmond is selected once again, as is Matt Banahan out wide on the left. George Ford and Peter Stringer will reunite at half-back, as Martin Roberts moves from the starting XV to the bench.

The pack remains unchanged from the unit that faced Northampton last week. Bath will field an all international front row of Paul James, Rob Webber and Anthony Perenise. Dave Attwood will again partner skipper Stuart Hooper at lock as Matt Garvey, Francois Louw and Carl Fearns make up the back-row.

Form: Leicester Tigers only defeat in their last eight matches in all tournaments came at Saracens in Premiership Rugby on December 21. Tigers have lost just one of their last thirteen encounters at Welford Road in all competitions: 16-23 to Harlequins on November 2. Bath Rugby's 25-43 loss at Northampton on Saturday ended an eleven game winning run in all tournaments. Bath have not lost back to back Premiership matches since December 2012. The last five encounters between the two clubs in the Premiership have all been won by the home side on the day, and in four of those the loser gained a bonus point. Bath have visited Welford Road on 17 previous occasions in the Premiership and won just once: 13-12 on November 29 2003.

The teams:

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Niall Morris, 13 Vereniki Goneva, 12 Toby Flood (c), 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Ed Slater, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 Thomas Waldrom, 21 David Mélé, 22 Scott Hamilton, 23 Matt Smith.

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Kyle 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 Eusebio Guinazu, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19 Dominic Day, 20 Leroy Houston, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ollie Devoto, 23 Horacio Agulla.

Date: Sunday, January 5
Kick-off: 14:00 GMT
Venue: Welford Road
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant referees: Ashley Rowden, Gareth Copsey.
Television match official: Geoff Warren

  • Bath Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
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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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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
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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
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Saturday , November 8
Exeter 18 - 6 BathExeter vs Bath Report
Saturday , November 1
Bath 47 - 7 London Welsh
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Saturday , October 25
Bath 19 - 21 Toulouse
Saturday , October 18
Glasgow 37 - 10 Bath
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Aviva Premiership
Sunday , October 12
Wasps 29 - 22 Bath
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  • Table
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821