Planet Rugby

Preview: Bath v Harlequins

22nd November 2012 12:42

Share:

bath harlequins guy mercer

Openside: Guy Mercer

Bath captain Stuart Hooper returns to the starting line-up for Friday's Premiership clash with Harlequins at the Recreation Ground.

Hooper links up with Dave Attwood in the second row, as Charlie Beech and Anthony Perenise prop down either side of Lee Mears at hooker. Josh Ovens makes his first Premiership start of the season on the blindside flank, with Guy Mercer on the openside and Simon Taylor at number eight.

Michael Claassens and Stephen Donald renew their southern hemisphere half-back partnership, whilst Kyle Eastmond returns to the right wing and Tom Biggs continues on the left. Semesa Rokoduguni is also in line to make his first Premiership start, partnering Matt Banahan in the centres. Nick Abendanon comes in at full-back to complete the line-up.

Meanwhile, Harlequins have made seven changes to the starting line-up that beat Bath in the LV=Cup, with Nick Evans returning at fly-half.

Ugo Monye, George Robson and Jordan Turner-Hall start after being released by England, whilst Evans returns from an ankle injury to partner Karl Dickson at scrum-half.

In the forwards, the front row is unchanged while Captain Nick Easter is joined by Luke Wallace and Tom Guest in the back row.

Among the replacements, Jordan Burns will look to make his first senior appearance for the club, while Rory Clegg and Seb Stegmann cover the backs.

Form: Harlequins have won their last three encounters with Bath, including last weekend's victory at home in the LV=Cup which saw no tries but 21 points from the boot of fly-half Ben Botica. Last season's corresponding fixture at the Rec saw Quins run out 26-13 winners thanks to tries from Mike Brown and Chris Robshaw, who will both be away on duty with England. Bath's last Aviva Premiership match saw them lose out in the closing minutes to an interception score from London Welsh winger Nick Scott.

The teams:

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Kyle Eastmond, 13 Semesa Rokoduguni, 12 Matt Banahan, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Josh Ovens, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Charlie Beech.
Replacements: 16 Brett Sheehan, 17 Alan Cotter, 18 Kane Palma-Newport, 19 Dominic Day, 20 Ryan Caldwell, 21 Will Skuse, 22 Mark McMillan, 23 Jack Cuthbert.

Harlequins: 15 Tom Williams, 14 Ugo Monye, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Sam Smith, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Nick Easter (c), 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Tom Guest, 5 George Robson, 4 Olly Kohn, 3 Will Collier, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Mark Lambert.
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Darryl Marfo, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Pete Browne, 20 Joe Trayfoot, 21 Jordan Burns, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Seb Stegmann.

Date: Friday, 23 November
Venue: The Recreation Ground
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant referees: Paul Burton, Andrew Pearce
TMO: David Grashoff

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 27
South Africa vs Australia16:05
Argentina vs New Zealand23:10
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Saturday , September 27
Zebre vs Ulster15:00
Munster vs Ospreys18:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
Lyon vs Castres18:00
Brive vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Bayonne vs Toulouse18:00
Grenoble vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Oyonnax vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
Saturday , September 27
Sharks vs Eastern Province Kings14:00
Pumas vs Western Province15:00
Griquas vs Lions15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Wednesday, September 24
North Harbour vs Canterbury19:35
Thursday , September 25
Bay Of Plenty vs Northland19:35
Friday , September 26
Taranaki vs Auckland19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle 10 - 35 NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Ospreys 62 - 13 EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 24 - 15 Bayonne
Montpellier 23 - 3 Stade FrancaisMontpellier vs Stade Francais Report
La Rochelle 26 - 29 Bordeaux-Begles
Clermont Auvergne 43 - 12 LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Report
Castres 27 - 18 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Blue Bulls 15 - 26 SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Northampton311
4Exeter310
5Leicester Tigers39