Planet Rugby

Preview: Worcester v Bath

31st October 2013 10:50

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Paul Warwick for Worcester

Premiership debut: Paul Warwick

Argentina blindside flanker Leonardo Senatore will make his Warriors debut when Bath visit Sixways Stadium in their Premiership clash on Friday.

The home side are looking for a first win of the season and give Paul Warwick his first league start of the campaign in place of Ignacio Mieres.

Chris Jones returns to the second-row and will partner Argentinian international Mariano Galarza.

Ofa Fainga'anuku will feature alongside Agustin Creevy and Euan Murray in the front-row.

The backline of Chris Pennell, Dean Hammond, Alex Grove, Josh Matavesi and Jonny Arr all keep their place in the side.

John Andress, George Porter, Sam Betty and Ravai Fatiaki return to the squad as Warriors prepare to tackle one of the league's form sides.

"Everybody's working really hard and the coaches are doing a fantastic job week in, week out to prepare the players," said director of rugby Dean Ryan.

"We're in a situation where we've got to try and find the best pathway out and not jump up and down and say it's one thing or the other.

"Professional rugby is about having high standards and systems that underpin a philosophy for a long period of time.

"We've got to build our game and intensity around the things we're capable of doing and then become competitive against our opponents.

"It's my job to ensure the players keep working hard. We're not where we would like to be but one win could change that."

Bath meanwhile have made just one enforced change to the side that beat Gloucester in the Aviva Premiership last weekend as they prepare to travel to Sixways,

Academy lock Will Spencer comes into the second-row alongside Stuart Hooper, replacing Dave Attwood who has been named on the bench for England.

Elsewhere in the pack, the all-international front-row of Paul James, Rob Webber and Anthony Perenise pack down with Matt Garvey, Francois Louw and Carl Fearns providing power in the back-row.

Peter Stringer and George Ford combine in the half-backs, offering a mix of youth and experience, while Kyle Eastmond and Jonathan Joseph continue their exciting partnership in the midfield. Matt Banahan and Semesa Rokoduguni give pace and strength out wide, with the dangerous talent of Anthony Watson at full-back.

Form: Worcester Warriors remain without a victory this season and have gained just two losing bonus points so far in this Aviva Premiership campaign. The Warriors most recent victory was 29-23 over London Wasps at Sixways on 1st March. Bath Rugby have won their last three encounters in all competitions, but away from home in the Premiership have been successful just once since September 2012: at Newcastle 21-0 in round 1 this season. Worcester have beaten Bath only once in their last dozen meetings in all tournaments: 16-7 at Sixways on 25th November 2011.

The teams:

Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Dean Hammond, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 David Lemi, 10 Paul Warwick, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Jonathan Thomas (c), 7 Jake Abbott, 6 Leonardo Senatore, 5 Mariano Galarza, 4 Chris Jones, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Agustin Creevy, 1 Ofa Fainga'anuku.
Replacements: 16 Chris Brooker, 17 George Porter, 18 John Andress, 19 Mike Williams, 20 Sam Betty, 21 Jeremy Su'a, 22 Ignacio Mieres, 23 Ravai Fatiaki.

Bath: 15 Anthony Watson, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 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 Will Spencer, 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 Dominic Day, 20 Alafoti Fa'osiliva, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Gavin Henson, 23 Horacio Agulla.

Date: Friday, November 1
Kick-off: 19:45
Venue: Sixways
Referee: Gregory Garner
Assistant referees: Andy Watson, Gordon Goodliffe
Television match official: Graham Hughes
Timekeeper: Laurie Bryant
Assessor: Jerry Wallis

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