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
International Match
Saturday , November 1
Barbarians vs Australia14:30
USA vs New Zealand15:00
More International Match fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , November 1
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Bath vs London Welsh15:00
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
Northampton vs Newcastle16:00
Sunday , November 2
Saracens vs Harlequins13:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs EdinburghLeinster vs Edinburgh Preview
Glasgow vs Benetton TrevisoGlasgow vs Benetton Treviso Preview
Ospreys vs ConnachtOspreys vs Connacht Preview
Saturday , November 1
Cardiff Blues vs Munster17:15
Scarlets vs Zebre18:00
Ulster vs Newport Gwent D'gons19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 1
Lyon vs Toulouse13:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
La Rochelle vs Montpellier18:30
Brive vs Castres18:30
Bayonne vs Clermont Auvergne20:45
Sunday , November 2
Toulon vs Grenoble13:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 26
Castres 16 - 21 LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Report
Clermont Auvergne 35 - 3 Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Report
Benetton Treviso 10 - 26 Racing Metro 92
Wasps 16 - 23 HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Report
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 15 - 3 LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615