Planet Rugby

Preview: London Welsh v Bath

02nd November 2012 08:39

Share:

bath london welsh banahan

Timely return: Matt Banahan

London Welsh will face Bath for the first time ever in league history on Sunday at the Kassam Stadium.

Welsh head coach Lyn Jones makes seven changes to his side. Tom Arscott returns to the side from injury at full-back with Tom Voyce moving to the wing.

There's a change in the centres with Gavin Henson partnering Sonny Parker, while Gordon Ross takes over the number ten jersey and Nick Runciman starts at scrum-half.

There are two changes in the forwards. Tom Bristow starts at loosehead in place of Franck Montanella and Lee Beach comes into the side at number eight for Alfie To'oala.

Welsh take to the field on Sunday with five former Bath players in their starting XV - Nick Scott, Tom Voyce, Paulica Ion, Martin Purdy and captain Jonathan Mills - plus another on the bench in Billy Moss.

The history between the two sides goes back to 1897/98, although they have never before faced each other in the league. They did famously meet in the 1985 John Player Cup final at Twickenham, a game which Bath won.

Meanwhile, Matt Banahan will make his first appearance since the second round of the Premiership on Sunday as he returns to the Bath starting line-up.

Banahan comes into the outside centre shirt, partnering Ben Williams. Tom Biggs and Kyle Eastmond continue on the wings, with Nick Abendanon at full-back. Stephen Donald and Michael Claassens also continue their half-back partnership.

Anthony Perenise starts at tighthead in place of David Wilson, scrumming down with Lee Mears and Paul James in the front row.

Dominic Day and Dave Attwood combine in the engine room once more. In the back row, injuries to Carl Fearns and Francois Louw see Club captain Stuart Hooper start on the blindside flank, with Will Skuse making his first Premiership start on the openside. Ben Skirving continues at the back of the scrum.

Head Coach Gary Gold has no doubt that Sunday's game will be another tough challenge for Bath, despite recording a 40-31 victory over London Welsh in pre-season.

"I don't think you can really read much into the pre-season result, this will be a very different game. They're a good group of players, are well coached and have a great attitude to work hard for each other - I've been impressed by what they've done this season.

Form:London Welsh have recorded three successive reversals in Aviva Premiership Rugby, since their 29- 19 victory at Sale in round four. Bath have won four of their last five matches in all competitions, but have won just once away from home in the Premiership since February: 24-23 at Worcester on 1 September. The two clubs have not played a competitive match since The Exiles visited The Rec on 14 February 1987 for a John Player Cup 4th round tie, which Bath won 30-4. London Welsh's most recent victory over Bath in a competitive match was 28-18 in February 1979 at Old Deer Park in a first round cup tie.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

London Welsh: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Nick Scott, 13 Sonny Parker, 12. Gavin Henson, 11 Tom Voyce, 10 Gordon Ross, 9 Nick Runciman, 8 Lee Beach, 7 Michael Hills, 6 Jonathan Mills (c), 5 Matt Corker, 4 Martin Purdy, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Neil Briggs, 1 Tom Bristow.
Replacements:16. Dan George, 17. Bill Moss, 18. Arthur Joly, 19. Adam Brown, 20. Mike Denbee, 21. Tyson Keats, 22. Seb Jewell, 23. James Lewis.

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Kyle Eastmond, 13 Matt Banahan, 12 Ben Williams, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Will Skuse, 6 Stuart Hooper (c), 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Dominic Day, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Paul James
Replacements: 16 Brett Sharman, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 Kane Palma-Newport, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Guy Mercer, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Sam Vesty, 23 Horacio Agulla.

Date: Sunday, November 4
Venue: Kassam Stadium
Kick-off: 15.00 GMT
Referee: Andrew Small

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 5
Northampton vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 6
Saracens vs Wasps14:00
Sale vs Bath14:00
Leicester vs Newcastle15:00
London Irish vs Harlequins16:30
Sunday , September 7
London Welsh vs Exeter14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 6
New Zealand vs Argentina08:35
Australia vs South Africa11:05
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 5
Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Munster vs Edinburgh19:35
Saturday , September 6
Scarlets vs Ulster14:40
Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons17:00
Glasgow vs Leinster17:15
Sunday , September 7
Zebre vs Cardiff Blues17:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 5
Montpellier vs Castres20:45
Saturday , September 6
Brive vs Toulouse14:45
Clermont Auvergne vs Racing Metro Paris17:00
Lyon vs Oyonnax18:30
Stade Francais vs Bayonne18:30
Grenoble vs La Rochelle18:30
Toulon vs Bordeaux-Begles20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 5
Western Province vs Eastern Province Kings19:10
Saturday , September 6
Cheetahs vs Pumas15:00
Sharks vs Griquas17:05
Blue Bulls vs Lions19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Sunday , August 31
Taranaki 41 - 3 Bay Of PlentyTaranaki vs Bay Of Plenty Report
Auckland 16 - 16 TasmanAuckland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Saturday , August 30
La Rochelle 37 - 25 ToulouseLa Rochelle vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 37 - 23 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 33 - 6 Stade Francais
Castres 30 - 6 BayonneCastres vs Bayonne Report
Racing Metro Paris 17 - 10 ToulonRacing Metro Paris vs Toulon Report
Lyon 24 - 6 Brive
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 25 - 36 CheetahsGriquas vs Cheetahs Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 41 LionsEastern Province Kings vs Lions Report
Blue Bulls 18 - 23 Western ProvinceBlue Bulls vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Counties Manukau 21 - 27 Hawkes BayCounties Manukau vs Hawkes Bay Report
Southland 22 - 33 Otago
North Harbour 16 - 22 WaikatoNorth Harbour vs Waikato Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 29
Clermont Auvergne 20 - 21 MontpellierClermont Auvergne vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Pumas 32 - 22 SharksPumas vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Wellington 21 - 27 ManawatuWellington vs Manawatu Report
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury 48 - 3 NorthlandCanterbury vs Northland Report
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato 17 - 46 TaranakiWaikato vs Taranaki Report
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu 7 - 35 AucklandManawatu vs Auckland Report
Bay Of Plenty 27 - 56 TasmanBay Of Plenty vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand 51 - 20 AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Report
Argentina 31 - 33 South AfricaArgentina vs South Africa Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Brive 6 - 21 Clermont AuvergneBrive vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 38 - 12 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00