Planet Rugby

Preview: Harlequins v Bath

08th March 2013 12:19

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Tom Biggs Harlequins Tom Williams Bath

My ball: Tom Williams and Tom Biggs

Harlequins have announced the team that will play Bath Rugby in the semi-final of the LV= Cup at the Stoop on Saturday.

The squad, which blends youth with experience, sees 16 of the match day squad under the age of 23.

Ross Chisholm starts at full-back and is joined in the back three by Tom Williams and Sam Smith. Tom Casson partners George Lowe in the centres, while Ben Botica is named at fly-half.

In the forwards, Will Collier starts at tight head, with Sam Twomey and Charlie Matthews named in the second row. Captain Luke Wallace starts at openside flanker and is joined in the back row with Maurie Fa'asavalu and Tom Guest.

Among the replacements, Charlie Walker will look to make his first senior appearance of the season.

Meanwhile, Bath Rugby have named a powerful starting side with just three changes to that which beat Gloucester at the Rec last weekend.

All three changes come in the front row, with Nathan Catt and Samoan international Anthony Perenise coming in for Paul James and David Wilson, who are both involved in the Six Nations this weekend, and Ross Batty replacing the injured Rob Webber at hooker.

Last week's Aviva Premiership Man of the Match Dominic Day is again selected alongside Dave Attwood in a heavyweight lock pairing, with Francois Louw leading the side from the blindside, Carl Fearns on the openside and Ben Skirving completing the pack from the base of the scrum.

Tom Heathcote, nominated once again for the LV= Breakthrough Player Award, is partnered by 98 times capped Peter Stringer in the half-backs, whilst Tom Biggs and Horacio Agulla are named out wide on the wings. Kyle Eastmond and Matt Banahan continue to build their impressive partnership in the midfield, with Nick Abendanon completing the line-up.

On the bench, there is a return from injury for lock and Club captain Stuart Hooper, and Argentinian international hooker Eusebio Guinazu could make his first appearance in the blue, black and white if called upon.

Harlequins: 15 Ross Chisholm, 14 Tom Williams, 13 George Lowe, 12 Tom Casson, 11 Sam Smith, 10 Ben Botica, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Tom Guest, 7 Luke Wallace (c), 6 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 5 Charlie Matthews, 4 Sam Twomey, 3 Will Collier, 2 Rob Buchanan, 1 Mark Lambert.
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Darryl Marfo, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 Pete Browne, 20 Joe Trayfoot, 21 Jordan Burns, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Charlie Walker

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Matt Banahan, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Carl Fearns, 6 Francois Louw (c), 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Dominic Day, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Ross Batty, 1 Nathan Catt.
Replacements: 16 Eusebio Guinazu, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 Kane Palma-Newport, 19 Stuart Hooper, 20 Nick Koster, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Sam Vesty, 23 Semsea Rokoduguni.

Date: Saturday, March 9
Kick-off: 12:15
Venue: The Stoop
Referee: Leighton Hodges (Wales)

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