Planet Rugby

Preview: Bath v Stade Français

05th April 2013 12:39

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Nick Abendanon Bath v London Irish

Right wing: Nick Abendanon

Nick Abendanon, Ben Skirving, Tom Biggs and Simon Taylor all return to the Bath line-up for their Challenge Cup meeting with Stade Français.

The quick and exciting duo of Abendanon and Biggs come in on the right and left wings respectively, with Argentinian international Horacio Agulla shifting inside to the outside centre role vacated by the injured Matt Banahan.

Kyle Eastmond partners Agulla in the midfield, with Ollie Devoto once again picked at full-back. The internationally experienced pairing of Stephen Donald and Peter Stringer are once again selected to run the show in the half-backs.

Former Stade Français player and 66 times capped Simon Taylor will make his first appearance since December following a knee injury. He starts on the blindside flank, with another international, Ben Skirving, who made his 100th appearance for the club last week, deployed at number eight. Springbok Francois Louw completes the back-row on the openside.

The rest of the pack is unchanged, with club captain Stuart Hooper partnering Dominic Day in the second-row, and the test front-row of Paul James, Rob Webber and David Wilson adding the grunt and power at the coalface.

Meanwhile, the Parisians have named former Chiefs forward Aled de Malmanche at hooker while a strong back-row sees Sergio Parisse, David Lyons and Pierre Rabadan combine.

Stade Français, tenth in the Top 14, name Jules Plisson and Jerome Fillol at half-back.

The teams:

Bath: 15 Ollie Devoto, 14 Nick Abendanon, 13 Horacio Agulla, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Simon Taylor, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 David Wilson, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Nick Koster, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Tom Heathcote, 23 Jack Cuthbert.

Stade Français: 15 Hugo Bonneval, 14 Waisea Vuidarvuwalu, 13 Geoffrey Doumayrou, 12 Paul Williams, 11 Jérémy Sinzelle, 10 Jules Plisson, 9 Jerome Fillol, 8 Sergio Parisse, 7 David Lyons, 6 Pierre Rabadan, 5 Gerhard Mostert, 4 Scott Lavalla, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Aled De Malmanche, 1 Stan Wright.
Replacements: 16 Remi Bonfils, 17 Jérémy Becasseau, 18 Zurabi Zhvania, 19 Anton van Zyl, 20 Antoine Burban, 21 Julien Dupuy, 22 Julien Arias, 23 Paul Warwick.

Date: Saturday, April 6
Kick-off: 13:00 BST
Venue: Recreation Ground
Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant referees: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland), Ian Davies (Wales)

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Sunday , April 6
Bath 39 - 7 BriveBath vs Brive Report
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Stade Francais 6 - 29 HarlequinsStade Francais vs Harlequins Report
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Pool 1
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2Biarritz616
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Pool 2
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1Bath628
2Bordeaux-Begles614
3Dragons614
4Mogliano Rugby60
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2Newcastle Falcons619
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2Bayonne615
3Grenoble612
4Viadana62
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1Stade Francais624
2London Irish624
3Cavalieri Prato611
4Lusitanos60