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Preview: Bath v Gloucester

17th February 2012 12:46

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Scott Lawson

Scott Lawson: Back in Gloucester colours

Gloucester have been boosted by the return of internationals Jim Hamilton and Scott Lawson for their West Country derby against Bath on Sunday.

The Scottish duo have been on Six Nations duty but are back with the Cherry and Whites for what promises to be an intriguing clash.

Lawson and Hamilton slot straight back into the starting line-up at hooker and lock respectively in the only changes to the side that beat Northampton last time out.

While a derby clash of this nature needs no extra spice, the fact that Gloucester are sitting in seventh spot on the Aviva Premiership table just four points clear of eighth placed Bath certainly adds to the occasion.

Having won three out of their last four matches, Bryan Redpath's men enter the game with momentum behind them but they know they'll need to be at their best to beat Bath.

"It's obviously a pivotal fixture for both clubs and it's about building that momentum, getting on a winning run and building confidence," forwards coach Carl Hogg told the club's official website.

"We've taken a good look at Bath and they appear to have gone back to a base game. They've built an efficient drive and their scrum is coming on. It's going to be a big challenge down there.

"These are always special fixtures, quite unique. We talk a lot about emotional factors but, for us, it's about playing for Gloucester, the jersey, the team. That's paramount.

"If we deliver passion and pride and get some accuracy into what we do, then we should be there and thereabouts."

Bath too enter the game on the back of a win, having beaten Newcastle last weekend. Sir Ian McGeechan has made two changes to the side that downed the Falcons.

In the front row, Nathan Catt comes in at loosehed prop at the expense of David Flatman while a groin injury rules out lock David Atwood who is replaced by Stuart Hooper.

On the bench, Ross Batty, Charlie Beech, Duncan Bell and Jack Cuthbert all return to the fray.

Form: Bath Rugby have won their last four matches in all competitions since their 22-24 loss at Montpellier in the European Cup on 14 January. Bath have won their last four home games at The Rec since Leinster won there on 11 December. Gloucester Rugby's only defeat in their last four matches was 15-23 at London Irish in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on 4 February. Gloucester have won just one away game in Aviva Premiership Rugby in the last twelve months: 24-19 at Exeter Chiefs on 5 November. Bath's solitary victory in their last eight encounters with Gloucester was 24-8 at The Rec on 27 December 2009.

Bath: 15 Sam Vesty, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Matt Banahan, 12 Olly Barkley, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Ben Skirving, 5 Ryan Caldwell, 4 Stuart Hooper, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Nathan Catt.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 Duncan Bell, 19 Guy Mercer, 20 Josh Ovens, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Matt Carraro, 23 Jack Cuthbert.

Gloucester: 15 Jonny May, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, 11 James Simpson-Daniel, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Rory Lawson, 8 Matt Cox 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Peter Buxton (c), 5 Alex Brown, 4 Jim Hamilton, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Will James, 20 Peter Buxton, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Ryan Mills, 23 Tom Voyce

Date: Saturday, February 18
Kick-off: 14:30
Venue: The Recreation Ground
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant referees: Stuart Terheege, Andrew Pearce
TMO: Geoff Warren

  • Gloucester Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
Saturday , December 20
Gloucester vs Bath15:00
Saturday , December 27
Gloucester vs Wasps15:00
Saturday , January 3
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Saturday , January 10
Gloucester vs Saracens15:00
Saturday , February 14
Leicester vs Gloucester15:00
Saturday , February 21
Gloucester vs London Welsh15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , January 31
Gloucester vs Ospreys15:00
Saturday , February 7
Gloucester vs Harlequins15:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Sunday , December 7
Gloucester vs Zebre15:15
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  • Gloucester Results
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
Friday , November 14
Gloucester 15 - 22 HarlequinsGloucester vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
LV= Cup
Sunday , November 9
London Welsh 9 - 18 Gloucester
Saturday , November 1
Exeter 28 - 27 Gloucester
More LV= Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
Thursday , October 16
Gloucester 55 - 0 Brive
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , October 11
Saracens 28 - 21 Gloucester
More Aviva Premiership results
  • Table
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
7Sale Sharks820
8Harlequins819
9Gloucester816
10Newcastle Falcons813
11London Irish812