Planet Rugby

Preview: Bath v Saracens

21st December 2012 10:21

Share:

Bath v Saracens Tom Biggs

Attack: Tom Biggs against Saracens

Bath Rugby have made six changes to the starting line-up that beat Calvisano as they prepare to face Saracens on Saturday.

Nick Abendanon returns at fullback, and Horacio Agulla and Tom Biggs start on the wings. Kyle Eastmond continues at outside centre with Ben Williams inside him. Stephen Donald and Michael Claassens continue their half-back partnership.

Paul James and Lee Mears both come back into the front row, packing down alongside David Wilson. Captain Stuart Hooper also returns to the starting line-up, partnering Dominic Day in the second row.

Simon Taylor shifts to number 8, with Francois Louw coming in on the blindside and Guy Mercer taking the openside.

Meanwhile, Saracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall makes three changes to the starting line-up that beat Munster last weekend.

In the backs, Alex Goode and Brad Barritt are rested which sees Chris Wyles start at full back and Charlie Hodgson named at fly-half. Owen Farrell switches to inside centre.

In the forwards, Mako Vunipola starts the match with Rhys Gill switching to the bench. Andy Saull also returns after missing last week with a hamstring injury.

Ernst Joubert, Jackson Wray, Alistair Hargreaves, Joe Maddock, Adam Powell, Jacques Burger and Justin Melck all miss the match through injury.

Form: Bath's last seven games in the Aviva Premiership have all been won by the home side on the day. Bath's only defeat in their last eight matches at The Rec in all competitions was 14-18 to Northampton in the Premiership on 14 September. Saracens' last seven encounters in all competitions have also been won by the home side on the day, whilst Sarries have not won away from home since they beat Northampton 16-6 at Franklin's Gardens in the Premiership on 27 October. However, Saracens remain the best away side in the Premiership with 17 league points accumulated on their travels so far. Saracens are in second spot in the table despite scoring and conceding just nine tries in their ten games so far. Bath's only victory in their last seven fixtures with Saracens in all competitions was 16-14 at Vicarage Road in the Premiership on 28 February 2010. Sarries have won on their last three visits to The Rec.

The teams:

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Kyle Eastmond, 12 Ben Williams, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 David Wilson, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Dave Attwood, 20 Will Skuse, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Tom Heathcote, 23 Dan Hipkiss.

Saracens: 15 Chris Wyles, 14 Chris Ashton, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 David Strettle, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Kelly Brown, 7 Will Fraser, 6 George Kruis, 5 Mouritz Botha, 4 Steve Borthwick (capt), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 Mako Vunipola.
Replacements: 16 Jamie George, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Petrus du Plessis, 19 Eoin Sheriff, 20 Andy Saull, 21 Neil de Kock, 22 Duncan Taylor, 23 James Short.

Date: Saturday , December 22
Venue: The Rec
Kick-off: 13:15 GMT
Referee: Greg Garner
Assistant referees: Roy Maybank, Gareth Copsey
Television match official: Graham Hughes

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 23
New Zealand vs AustraliaNew Zealand vs Australia Preview
Argentina vs South Africa20:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Top 14
Friday , August 22
Toulouse vs CastresToulouse vs Castres Preview
Saturday , August 23
Brive vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Toulon vs La Rochelle18:30
Bayonne vs Oyonnax18:30
Bordeaux-Begles vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Montpellier vs Grenoble18:30
Stade Francais vs Lyon20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , August 22
Pumas vs GriquasPumas vs Griquas Preview
Saturday , August 23
Blue Bulls vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
Western Province vs Lions17:05
Sharks vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Friday , August 22
Waikato vs CanterburyWaikato vs Canterbury Preview
Hawkes Bay vs TaranakiHawkes Bay vs Taranaki Preview
Saturday , August 23
Northland vs Wellington14:35
Counties Manukau vs Otago16:35
Sunday , August 24
Manawatu vs Auckland14:35
Bay Of Plenty vs Tasman16:35
Wednesday, August 27
Waikato vs Taranaki19:35
Thursday , August 28
Canterbury vs Northland19:35
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , August 21
North Harbour 21 - 25 Southland
Sunday , August 17
Tasman 35 - 15 Hawkes BayTasman vs Hawkes Bay Report
Northland 23 - 28 Manawatu
More ITM Cup results
Rugby Championship
Saturday , August 16
Australia 12 - 12 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
South Africa 13 - 6 ArgentinaSouth Africa vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Top 14
Clermont Auvergne 30 - 26 GrenobleClermont Auvergne vs Grenoble Report
Montpellier 16 - 19 Racing Metro ParisMontpellier vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Toulouse 20 - 19 Oyonnax
Bordeaux-Begles 18 - 9 Lyon
Brive 37 - 15 La Rochelle
Castres 22 - 25 Stade Francais
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Lions 60 - 19 Eastern Province KingsLions vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Cheetahs 34 - 27 GriquasCheetahs vs Griquas Report
Western Province 41 - 17 Blue BullsWestern Province vs Blue Bulls Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Otago 28 - 14 North Harbour
Wellington 25 - 37 WaikatoWellington vs Waikato Report
Canterbury 48 - 9 AucklandCanterbury vs Auckland Report
More ITM Cup results
Top 14
Friday , August 15
Bayonne 15 - 29 ToulonBayonne vs Toulon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 34 - 17 PumasSharks vs Pumas Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Southland 34 - 23 Bay Of Plenty
Thursday , August 14
Taranaki 9 - 9 Counties ManukauTaranaki vs Counties Manukau Report
More ITM Cup results
Currie Cup
Saturday , August 9
Griquas 24 - 31 SharksGriquas vs Sharks Report
Pumas 28 - 21 CheetahsPumas vs Cheetahs Report
Lions 41 - 13 Blue BullsLions vs Blue Bulls Report
Friday , August 8
Eastern Province Kings 16 - 35 Western ProvinceEastern Province Kings vs Western Province Report
More Currie Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath00
2Exeter00
3Gloucester00
4Harlequins00
5Leicester Tigers00