Planet Rugby

Preview: Bath v Newcastle

28th January 2011 11:48

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Andy Beattie bath

Andy Beattie: To lead Bath

Andy Beattie is handed the captains armband once again as Bath welcome Newcastle on Saturday to the Recreation Ground in the LV= Cup.

Beattie is joined in the back row by Josh Ovens and Ben Skirving. Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe and John van der Giessen provide an experienced second row, with David Flatman, Pieter Dixon and Aaron Jarvis scrumming down in the front row.

Mark McMillan and Sam Vesty partner up at halfback, with Jacques Boussuge and Tom Biggs adding pace and strength on the wings. Nick Abendanon returns from England EPS training to line up at full-back, and Ben Williams and Olly Barkley join up in the centres.

Meanwhile, giant Kiwi lock Andrew Van der Heijden is named amongst the Newcastle replacements.

The 26-year-old has completed his rehabilitation from a broken arm sustained shortly after signing a two-year deal at Kingston Park.

And Van der Heijden is delighted to be able to pull on the Falcons jersey for the first time since his move from down under.

"It's been a long time and I've been raring to go for two months now. Hopefully I can make a big impact when I get on and make sure the basics are right," he said.

Head coach Alan Tait has named a strong squad for the trip to the West Country which includes Scotland international Euan Murray in the front row.

Ally Hogg and Tim Swinson are welcomed back to the pack, and there is also a place in the back row for Cumbrian Mark Wilson. The Falcons will also be boosted by the return of hooker Rob Vickers who is named on the bench.

The teams:

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Jacques Boussuge, 13 Olly Barkley, 12 Ben Williams, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Sam Vesty, 9 Mark McMillan, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Josh Ovens, 6 Andy Beattie (c), 5 John van der Giessen, 4 Ignacio Fernandez Lobbe, 3 Aaron Jarvis, 2 Pieter Dixon, 1 David Flatman.
Replacements: 16 Ted Stagg, 17 David Barnes, 18 Kane Palma Newport, 19 Danny Grewcock, 20 Luke Watson, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Paul Roberts, 23 Nick Scott.

Newcastle: 15 A Tait, 14 Fielden, 13 Eves, 12 Tu'ipulotu, 11 Bobo, 10 Gopperth, 9 Young, 1 Golding, 2 Thompson, 3 Murray, 4 Hudson, 5 Swinson, 6 M Wilson, 7 Welch, 8 Hogg
Replacements: 16 Vickers, 17 Shiells, 18 J Hall, 19 Van Der Heijden, 20 Williamson, 21 Pilgrim, 22 Fitzpatrick, 23 Hodgson

Referee: Rob Debney (England)

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