Preview: Wasps v Bath

Date published: October 10 2014

Bath’s side to face Wasps at Adams Park on Sunday shows a solitary change to the side which defeated Saracens last Friday.

Bath’s side to face Wasps at Adams Park shows a solitary change to the one which beat Saracens last Friday.

The returning Anthony Watson wings in at number 11, having featured there in Bath United’s victory against Wasps A on Monday. Semesa Rokoduguni continues apace on the right wing, with Gavin Henson the creative foil at full-back.

Buoyed by being named September’s Premiership Player of the Month, Kyle Eastmond and Jonathan Joseph operate in the 12-13 axis. Another successful combination for Bath, George Ford and Chris Cook, start in the half-backs for the fifth consecutive match.

So crucial in defeating Saracens, Bath’s forwards are also unchanged. Paul James, Rob Webber and Dave Wilson continue in the front row, with Captain Stuart Hooper and Dave Attwood the locks.

The back row of blindside Alafoti Fa’osiliva, openside Guy Mercer and number eight Leroy Houston have also shown good symmetry this season.

Meanwhile, Wasps’ England internationals James Haskell and Joe Launchbury return to the run-on side while Welsh lock Bradley Davies makes his first start, having made his debut off the bench against Sale last week.

Ahead of the game Wasps’ director of rugby Dai Young said: “It has understandably been a busy week all round, but the focus now is fully on the rugby and facing Bath this weekend.

I appreciate it has been an emotional week for many supporters, but I hope we can all channel those emotions into supporting the team on the field.

“We were disappointed with last weekend’s performance against Sale and know there are many areas we need to improve on today against Bath, who are one of the best sides in the Aviva Premiership, currently sitting second in the table.

“We saw how strong they were against Saracens last weekend so we will need to be on top of our game on Sunday.”

Form: Wasps tripped up at Sale on Sunday but have won their last four home games since Saracens beat them 32-20 at Adams Park in round 18 last season. Bath have lost just one game in Aviva Premiership this season: 24-31 at table topping Northampton on 27th September. Bath have not lost successive away games for over 12 months. Bath achieved the treble over Wasps last season, taking both Premiership Rugby fixtures plus winning the semi-final of the European Challenge Cup. Bath are attempting to win a third successive game at Adams Park for the first time.

The teams:

Wasps: 15 Andrea Masi, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Elliot Daly, 12 Alapati Leiua, 11 Salosi Tagicakibau, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 James Haskell (c), 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Bradley Davies, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Lorenzo Cittadini, 2 Carlo Festuccia, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 John Yapp, 18 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 19 James Gaskell, 20 Sam Jones, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Rob Millar, 23 Chris Bell.

Bath: 15 Gavin Henson, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Anthony Watson, 10 George Ford, 9 Chris Cook, 8 Leroy Houston, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Alafoti Fa’osiliva, 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 David Wilson, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Nick Auterac, 18 Henry Thomas, 19 Dominic Day, 20 David Sisi, 21 Micky Young, 22 Ollie Devoto, 23 Olly Woodburn.

Date: Sunday, October 12
Venue: Adams Park
Kickoff: 14:00 local (13:00 GMT)
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant Referees: Roy Maybank & Paul Burton
TMO: Sean Davey