Preview: Bath v Leicester

Bath Rugby will be looking to continue their fine home form this season when they take on Leicester Tigers in the EDF Energy Cup at the Rec on Saturday.

Fresh from the World Cup, club captain Steve Borthwick comes straight back into the fold and will form a second row partnership with the in-form Peter Short.

In the backs Nick Abendanon, also on World Cup duty last weekend, reclaims his full-back jersey with Michael Stephenson moving to the wing. The half-back pairing is that of Michael Claassens and Ryan Davis.

Meanwhile Ian Humphreys and Gavin Hickie make their return from injury as Leicester Tigers open the defence of their EDF Energy Cup crown.

Fly-half Humphreys gains a starting slot, while hooker Hickie is named among the replacements after both announced their return to contention with a Development XV outing at Cambridge University last Monday evening.

England Saxons lock Richard Blaze gains his first start for the club after recovering from a groin injury and young prop Dan Cole makes his debut appearance in the senior ranks after injury to Boris Stankovich and Martin Castrogiovanni in the Guinness Premiership win over Worcester Warriors last weekend.

Marcos Ayerza is named among the replacements following his return from Argentina’s triumphant Rugby World Cup campaign which ended with a victory in the bronze-medal play-off.

Sam Vesty returns to the full-back slot, with Johne Murphy and Tom Varndell named on the wings, and Matt Cornwell combining with Ayoola Erinle in the centres. Humphreys will link up with Frank Murphy at half-back.

Mefin Davies captains the team from the front row, between young props Cole and Dave Young, while Marco Wentzel moves back in to the second row alongside Blaze. The back row features the all-English combination of Tom Croft, Luke Abraham and Jordan Crane.

“We have a couple of guys coming back from injury and also we have some guys who need some game-time and an opportunity,” said coach Richard Cockerill.

“Some of the guys we have not seen a lot of so far have a good opportunity on Saturday to show the coaches they are worthy of a start.

“We have put some fresh legs out there, some with a point to prove, but this is still a good team because we think our squad is good across the board.”

Form: Bath Rugby have won their last four matches in the Premiership to place them in 2nd spot in the league table. Bath were semi-finalists in this competition in 2005/06, but unfortunately lost all three pool games in the EDF Energy Cup last season. Bath are undefeated in their last 13 matches at the Rec in all competitions. Reigning EDF Energy Cup holders Leicester Tigers begin their defence having secured a 28-20 victory over Worcester in the Premiership on Saturday. The Tigers’ currently occupy 5th spot in the Guinness Premiership table with a won 4, lost 2 record. The two clubs have already met this season, with Leicester running out 26-16 victors in the Premiership at Welford Road on 22 September.

Leicester Tigers: 15 Sam Vesty, 14 Johne Murphy, 13 Ayoola Erinle, 12 Matt Cornwell, 11 Tom Varndell, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Frank Murphy, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Luke Abraham, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Marco Wentzel, 4 Richard Blaze, 3 Dave Young, 2 Mefin Davies (c), 1 Dan Cole.
Replacements: 16 Gavin Hickie, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Alex Moreno, 19 James Hamilton, 20 Ben Herring, 21 Tom Youngs, 22 Ben Youngs.

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Andy Higgins, 13 Alex Crockett, 12 Tom Cheeseman, 11 Michael Stephenson, 10 Ryan Davis, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Daniel Browne, 7 James Scaysbrook, 6 Andy Beattie, 5 Peter Short, 4 Steve Borthwick, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Rob Hawkins, 1 David Flatman.
Replacements: 16 Neil Clarke, 17 Laurence Ovens, 18 Martin Purdy, 19 Jonny Faamatuainu, 20 Nick Walshe, 21 Shaun Berne, 22 Matt Banahan.

Date: Saturday, October 27
Venue: The Rec <

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.