Bath v London Irish Premiership Preview

Bath host Harlequins at The Rec

Bath haven named their team to play London Irish in the Aviva Premiership at the Rec and have kept Rugby League convert Sam Burgess in the No.6 jersey.

Captain Stuart Hooper and inside centre Kyle Eastmond have both recovered to take part in the Club’s penultimate home match of the regular season.

Paul James, Rob Webber and Kane Palma-Newport make up the front row, with Hooper and Dominic Day in the second row.

Meanwhile, Sam Burgess starts his second Aviva Premiership match at blindside flanker, with openside Francois Louw and number eight Leroy Houston alongside him.

Peter Stringer and George Ford are named in the half-backs, and starting in the midfield for the 16th match this season are dynamic duo Eastmond and Jonathan Joseph.

Bath’s back three of fullback Anthony Watson and wings Semesa Rokoduguni and Matt Banahan – all of whom scored in Bath’s last outing, the 19-29 victory against Newcastle Falcons – will be looking to continue their form.

Bath Rugby have won their last three Aviva Premiership rugby matches and have obtained a try bonus point in the last two.

Bath’s only defeat this season at the Recreation Ground in Premiership Rugby came at the hands of reigning champions Northampton on 21st February.

London Irish have suffered just one defeat in their last four Aviva Premiership Rugby clashes: 20-26 to Harlequins at Twickenham Stoop in round 17.

The Exiles have been victorious just once on the road in the tournament since round 4: 50-12 at struggling London Welsh on 28th February.

Bath have won their last four fixtures against London Irish, whilst the Exiles solitary victory in their last ten encounters with Bath was 29-22 at Madejski Stadium in September 2012.

London Irish have not won at the Recreation Ground since a 16-0 victory in November 2009.

Meanwhile London Irish coach Glenn Delaney has made one change and a positional switch to the starting line up that beat Sale.

Tom Court, David Paice and Richard Palframan pack down in the front row for the second consecutive game with George Skivington forming the second row partnership with Jebb Sinclair who moves forward from the back row. Luke Narraway comes into the back row alongside Blair Cowan and Tom Guest.

Darren Allinson, who was a late call up to the starting line-up last time out, is joined by Chris Noakes in the half backs and Fergus Mulchrone and Eoin Griffin continue their partnership in the centre.

Alex Lewington, Topsy Ojo and Andrew Fenby make up the back three.

Glenn Delaney said: “The team performed well and showed great spirit against Sale and deserve another run out. Bath are in outstanding form and have threats all over the park so we will have to be at our very best to have a chance at getting a result.”

Match : Bath v London Irish
Date : Friday 24th April
Venue : Recreation Ground
Kick Off : 7.45pm
Live on: BT Sport
Match Officials
Referee :
Luke Pearce (38th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Ashley Rowden and Kelvin Stewart.
TMO: Graham Hughes.

Teams

Bath

15 Anthony Watson , 14 Semesa Rokoduguni , 13 Jonathan Joseph , 12 Kyle Eastmond , 11 Matt Banahan , 10 George Ford , 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Leroy Houston , 7 Francois Louw , 6 Sam Burgess, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Stuart Hooper (c) , 3 Kane Palma-Newport , 2 Rob Webber ,1 Paul James

Replacements : 16 Ross Batty , 17 Nick Auterac , 18 Max Lahiff , 19 Dave Attwood , 20 Matt Garvey , 21 Carl Fearns , 22 Chris Cook , 23 Ollie Devoto

London Irish

15. Andrew Fenby; 14. Topsy Ojo*; 13. Eoin Griffin; 12. Fergus Mulchrone; 11. Alex Lewington; 10. Chris Noakes; 9. Darren Allinson; 1. Tom Court*; 2. David Paice*; 3. Richard Palframan; 4. George Skivington (Captain); 5. Jebb Sinclair*; 6. Luke Narraway*; 7. Blair Cowan*; 8. Tom Guest

Replacements: 16. Gerard Ellis; 17. Jamie Hagan*; 18. Halani Aulika*; 19. Dan Leo*; 20. Sean Cox; 21. Tomas O’Leary*; 22. Shane Geraghty*; 23. Eamonn Sheridan

*Denotes International

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