Two backline changes for Bristol’s Bath

Bristol Rugby Head Coach Richard Hill keeps faith with the majority of the starting line up that defeated Stade Francais in the Heineken Cup last weekend but is forced to make two changes to his back line.


Tom Arscott sprained his ankle in the opening minutes against the French champions and is ruled out and replaced by Lee Robinson.


And the return to Guinness Premiership action means that only one of Neil Brew and David Hill can be on the pitch at the same time due to the ‘overseas’ rule. Brew gets the nod with Hill named on the bench. Jason Strange comes in at flyhalf.


Hill acknowledged today that Bath will pose a stern test and that his selection hadn’t been easy this weekend:


“It’s been a dilemma because Brew and Hill have both been playing well. I’ve been mulling it over for a couple of days and I knew I would disappoint someone.”


“But it’s good to be able to bring Lee Robinson back in as he can’t stop scoring against Bath! Perhaps it’s because he started playing at Bath but he loves playing against them.”


“Everybody is still fairly happy after the Stade result but as we get closer to that 2:15pm kick off on Saturday, the mood will change and will be every bit as focussed as it was before the Stade game.”


“We seem to have broken that real stranglehold that Bath had over Bristol for many, many years. Last year was a big turning point for us. In particular, it gave everyone at the club a huge lift to go to the Recreation Ground and win.”


“It’s always been a difficult place to go to and win. Gloucester just can’t seem to do it, for example. But it’s not a foregone conclusion that Bristol will go there and lose as it was maybe in the past.”


“Bath are in the in form team. We caught them at a slightly low ebb last season when they just weren’t clicking. But you can see the influence Steve Meehan is having now. They have a real cutting edge this season.”


“It’s a traditional West Country derby and there’s always that little bit of extra spice to the occasion. It’d be nice to come away with a win and keep the bragging rights for another couple of months or so.”


Bristol Rugby:


Luke Arscott; Lee Robinson, Rob Higgitt, Neil Brew, David Lemi; Jason Strange, Shaun Perry (capt); Alex Clarke, Mark Regan, Jason Hobson, Roy Winters, Sean Hohneck, Andrew Blowers, Joe El Abd, Dan Ward-Smith


Replacements:


David Blaney, Darren Crompton, Gareth Llewellyn, Alfie To’oala, Brian O’Riordan, David Hill, Josh Taumalolo

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