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Preview: Bath v London Irish

30th December 2011 14:19

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Tom Biggs brought down by Delon Armitage in London Irish against Bath

Back for Bath: Tom Biggs

Bath have made six changes to their side for the Aviva Premiership New Year's Day clash with London Irish at the Rec.

Dan Hipkiss, Tom Biggs and Simon Taylor all return to the home starting XV.

Taylor lines up alongside Andy Beattie and Francois Louw in the back row, as Dave Attwood and Ryan Caldwell continue in the second row. Ross Batty starts at hooker, with Nathan Catt and Anthony Perenise packing down either side in the front row.

Stephen Donald and Michael Claassens continue to build their half-back partnership, and Nick Abendanon remains at full-back. Dan Hipkiss comes in at outside centre, partnering Matt Banahan, who shifts inside from the wing. Tom Biggs is named on the wing, with Matt Carraro starting on the opposite side.

On the bench, there is a welcome return from injury for Ben Skirving, and Kyle Eastmond could make his first appearance in Bath colours if called on.

Meanwhile, Nick Kennedy will return to the London Irish second row.

Kennedy is one of three changes from the starting side that triumphed over Exeter Chiefs at the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday. James Buckland and England international, Alex Corbisiero, both come into the front row to partner Paulica Ion. Declan Danaher will captain the side from the back row.

Form: It's now four straight losses for Bath in Aviva Premiership Rugby - they haven't lost five in a row in the tournament since season 2001/02. Bath have slipped to defeat in three of their last four games at The Rec. London Irish maintained third place in the table with their 29-22 victory over Exeter at Madejski Stadium, but away from home have won just twice in the Premiership in the past 14 months: against Sale at Bolton and at Northampton. The Exiles have won only one of their last nine encounters with Bath since 2008: 16-0 at The Rec on 28 November 2009.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Matt Carraro, 13 Dan Hipkiss, 12 Matt Banahan, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Francois Louw (c), 6 Andy Beattie, 5 Ryan Caldwell, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Ross Batty, 1 Nathan Catt.
Replacements: 16 Will Tanner, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 David Wilson, 19 Ben Skirving, 20 Guy Mercer, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Tom Heathcote, 23 Kyle Eastmond.

London Irish: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Joe Ansbro, 12 Shontayne Hape, 11 Tom Homer, 10 Steven Shingler, 9 Darren Allinson, 8 Richard Thorpe 7 Jamie Gibson 6 Declan Danaher (c) 5 Bryn Evans 4 Nick Kennedy 3 Paulica Ion 2 James Buckland 1 Alex Corbisiero
Replacements: 16 David Paice, 17 Clarke Dermody, 18 Max Lahiff, 19 Matt Garvey, 20 Alex Gray, 21 Adam Thompstone, 22 Adrian Jarvis, 23 Paul Hodgson.

Date: Sunday, January 1
Venue: Recreation Ground
Kick-off: 13.30
Referee: Martin Fox

  • London Irish Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
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Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale vs London Irish14:00
Saturday , November 22
London Irish vs Bath15:00
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
Sunday , December 21
Wasps vs London Irish14:00
Friday , December 26
London Irish vs London Welsh15:00
Saturday , January 3
Saracens vs London Irish15:00
Sunday , January 11
London Irish vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Saturday , November 8
Wasps vs London Irish15:00
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European Rugby Challenge Cup
Friday , October 24
Grenoble vs London Irish18:30
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  • London Irish Results
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European Rugby Challenge Cup
Sunday , October 19
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
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Saturday , October 11
Exeter 44 - 24 London IrishExeter vs London Irish Report
Saturday , October 4
London Irish 12 - 19 Northampton
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London Irish
Saturday , September 20
London Irish 32 - 36 Saracens
Sunday , September 14
Newcastle 18 - 20 London Irish
Saturday , September 6
London Irish 15 - 20 Harlequins
More Aviva Premiership results
  • Table
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
7Harlequins614
8Leicester Tigers614
9London Irish612
10Sale Sharks611
11Newcastle Falcons69