Planet Rugby

Preview: Harlequins v Bath

28th November 2008 12:23

Share:

Nick Abendanon on the fly

Nick Abendanon: Back from injury

Although Bath Rugby are still top of the Guinness Premiership table, the team needs to use the disappointment of the 28-28 draw against Northampton Saints last weekend to spur them on for a win against Harlequins this Sunday.

After an eight-day turnaround between matches, the team will be fresher for the trip to the Stoop, but there are other chellenges, as forwards coach Mark Bakewell explained.

"Harlequins always put a lot of pressure on our game," admitted Bakewell.

"They are probably a bigger collective threat than Northampton and they get a lot of quick ball and are solid in defence.

"Harlequins are one of the better attacking teams for sure."

Whilst talking about attacking play, Bakewell referred to two of his own players Jonny Faamatuainu and Daniel Browne, who have both crossed the line twice this season.

"I think Jonny and Daniel read the game well and tend to be in the right position at the right time. Daniel's try last weekend was off the back of a very good scrum and he read the defence perfectly and found the space very quickly. These guys take their opportunities when they can."

Nick Abendanon returns to the Bath side after enduring an injury that kept him out of the fray since Newport Gwent Dragons. Tom Cheeseman pulls on the outside centre shirt in place of injured Alex Crockett and Michael Claassens takes on the captaincy.

Meanwhile, the Quins line-up for Sunday's game sees the welcome return of Captain Will Skinner to the side, after being injured in the game against London Wasps, and missing last week's visit to Welford Road.

Andy Gomarsall is also back in the starting line-up at scrum-half, forming an enticing partnership with Nick Evans at fly-half.

Centre Gonzalo Tiesi and Hooker Tani Fuga both re-join the starting line-up after being away on International duty, for Argentina and the Pacific Islands respectively.

James Percival makes his first Guinness Premiership start of the season, partnering Jim Evans in the second row, in place of Ollie Kohn who is being rested.

Seb Stegmann returns to the wing, joining Tom Williams and Mike Brown in the backs.

Form: Harlequins were beaten 14-27 at Leicester on Saturday after back to back wins in the Guinness Premiership. Bath Rugby drew 28-all at Northampton - Bath's first draw since April 2007. Bath are still unbeaten away from home in the Premiership this season. The last four matches between the two clubs have been won by the home side on the day, whilst Bath's last win at the Stoop in the Premiership was 18-10 on 25 September 2004.

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Seb Stegmann, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Andy Gomarsall, 8 Tom Guest, 7 Will Skinner (c), 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 Jim Evans, 4 James Percival, 3 Mike Ross, 2 Tani Fuga, 1 Ceri Jones.

Replacements: 16 Chris Brooker, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 George Robson, 19 Neil McMillan, 20 Junior Poluleuligaga, 21 De Wet Barry, 22 Chris Malone.

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Jack Cuthbert, 13 Tom Cheeseman, 12 Shontayne Hape, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 Butch James, 9 Michael Claassens (c), 8 Daniel Browne, 7 Jonny Faamatuainu, 6 Stuart Hooper, 5 Peter Short, 4 Justin Harrison, 3 Duncan Bell, 2 Pieter Dixon, 1 David Flatman.

Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Paulica Ion, 18 Andy Beattie, 19 James Scaysbrook, 20 Scott Bemand, 21 Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, 22 Michael Stephenson.

Date: Sunday, November 30

Venue: The Stoop

Kick-off: 15.00 GMT

Referee: Martin Fox

Touch judges: Bruce Robertson, Kevin Stewart

Assessor: Brian Campsall

Television match official: John Burtenshaw

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Montpellier18:00
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter828
2Bath828
3Northampton726
4Saracens724
5Wasps820