Planet Rugby

Preview: Bath v Leicester

19th April 2013 08:57

Share:

Bath back Ben Williams

In the side: Ben Williams

Centre Ben Williams returns to the Bath starting line-up for Saturday's final home game of the West Country side's season against rivals Leicester.

Williams comes into the outside centre shirt to partner Kyle Eastmond in the midfield, with Semesa Rokoduguni shifting out to the wing. Horacio Agulla lines up against his former team on the opposite wing, with Ollie Devoto at fifteen.

Southern hemisphere duo Michael Claassens and Stephen Donald re-form their half-back partnership for what will be the final time at the Rec as both move on at the end of this season.

There are three other changes as hooker Rob Webber, lock Dominic Day and flanker Guy Mercer all come back into the starting line-up.

Webber takes his place in the front row between international duo Paul James and David Wilson, whilst Day partners Dave Attwood in the engine room. Mercer starts on the openside, with Francois Louw on the blindside and Simon Taylor packing down at number eight.

Meanwhile, Leicester Tigers welcome back Tom Youngs, Geoff Parling and Tom Croft for Saturday's Aviva Premiership Round 21 fixture.

The international trio missed last weekend's bonus-point win over London Wasps but are fit to resume their places in the starting line-up.

Thomas Waldrom starts in the back row and Steve Mafi, who returned from injury with 40 minutes in the home win over Wasps, switches to the second row. Matt Smith is given a starting spot on the wing.

Club captain Geordan Murphy and Dan Bowden are selected among the replacements for the penultimate league match of the season.

"We had a good win last week but the job is not done yet. We need the points to secure a home game in the semi-finals, and Bath are also chasing the wins they need to book a place in Europe next season so it will be a big occasion," said boss Richard Cockerill.

Form: Bath have won their last four Aviva Premiership encounters played at The Rec. Leicester Tigers have reached the Premiership play-offs for a record ninth successive season, whilst another three match points would see them appear in a fifth consecutive home semi-final. The Tigers are the best away side in the Premiership having secured 32 match points on their travels so far this season. Leicester have won their last three encounters with Bath in all competitions but have been victorious just once at the Rec in the Premiership since 2006: 37-6 on March 26, 2011.

The teams:

Bath: 15 Ollie Devoto, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Ben Williams, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Horacio Agulla, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Francois Louw (c), 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Dominic Day, 3 David Wilson, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Eusebio Guinazu, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Mat Gilbert, 21 Nick Koster, 22 Peter Stringer, 23 Tom Heathcote.

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Matt Smith, 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Toby Flood (c), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Steve Mafi, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Logovi'i Mulipola.
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Fraser Balmain, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Jordan Crane, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Dan Bowden, 23 Geordan Murphy.

Date: Saturday, April 20
Kick-off: 14:15 BST
Venue: Recreation Ground
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth
Assistant referees: Ashley Rowden, Andrew Pearce
Television match official: Trevor Fisher
Timekeeper: Laurie Bryant
Assessor: Paul Bridgman

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , October 3
Bath vs Saracens19:45
Saturday , October 4
London Irish vs Northampton15:00
Harlequins vs London Welsh15:00
Gloucester vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , October 5
Sale Sharks vs Wasps14:00
Newcastle vs Exeter15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , October 4
South Africa vs New Zealand16:05
Argentina vs Australia23:40
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 3
Connacht vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Ulster vs Edinburgh19:35
Zebre vs Ospreys19:35
Saturday , October 4
Leinster vs Munster18:30
Sunday , October 5
Benetton Treviso vs Glasgow14:00
Scarlets vs Newport Gwent D'gons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , October 3
Oyonnax vs Toulon20:45
Saturday , October 4
Bordeaux-Begles vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Racing Metro Paris vs Brive18:30
Bayonne vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Lyon18:30
Castres vs Grenoble18:30
Toulouse vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , October 3
Pumas vs Blue Bulls15:00
Sharks vs Lions19:10
Saturday , October 4
Cheetahs vs Western Province14:00
Griquas vs Eastern Province Kings15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Thursday , October 2
Auckland 60 - 19 Waikato
Wednesday, October 1
Hawkes Bay 36 - 14 WellingtonHawkes Bay vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 28
Wasps 35 - 18 NewcastleWasps vs Newcastle Report
Exeter 36 - 13 HarlequinsExeter vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 33 - 15 Benetton TrevisoNewport Gwent D
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Tasman 32 - 24 OtagoTasman vs Otago Report
Canterbury 26 - 28 SouthlandCanterbury vs Southland Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 27
Leicester 19 - 22 London IrishLeicester vs London Irish Report
Saracens 40 - 19 Sale SharksSaracens vs Sale Sharks Report
Northampton 31 - 24 BathNorthampton vs Bath Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
South Africa 28 - 10 AustraliaSouth Africa vs Australia Report
Argentina 13 - 34 New ZealandArgentina vs New Zealand Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Zebre 13 - 6 UlsterZebre vs Ulster Report
Munster 14 - 19 OspreysMunster vs Ospreys Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulon 40 - 17 MontpellierToulon vs Montpellier Report
Grenoble 27 - 25 Racing Metro ParisGrenoble vs Racing Metro Paris Report
Brive 34 - 24 Bordeaux-Begles
Oyonnax 8 - 19 Clermont Auvergne
Stade Francais 43 - 10 La Rochelle
Lyon 28 - 18 Castres
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Sharks 53 - 24 Eastern Province KingsSharks vs Eastern Province Kings Report
Griquas 8 - 46 LionsGriquas vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Waikato 20 - 22 ManawatuWaikato vs Manawatu Report
North Harbour 28 - 25 Hawkes Bay
Counties Manukau 55 - 7 WellingtonCounties Manukau vs Wellington Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens418
2Northampton416
3Bath415
4Exeter414
5Wasps411