Bath v Sale Sharks Premiership Preview

Bath host Exeter Chiefs at The Recreation Ground

Struggling Bath have named a team with five changes for this week’s Aviva Premiership’s match against Sale Sharks at the Recreation Ground.

Bath made a strong start to the season but international call ups have impacted heavily on the West country side.

Tom Homer starts his fourth consecutive match for Bath since joining the Club in early February. He is part of an unchanged line-up in the backs from last weekend’s match in Sandy Park, including wingers Semesa Rokoduguni and Olly Woodburn and centres Kyle Eastmond (12) and Sam Burgess (13).

Tighthead Henry Thomas returns to the front row fresh from international duty with England in Dublin last weekend, where he packs down alongside Rob Webber and Nick Auterac.

Captain Stuart Hooper and Dominic Day start their 12th match of the season together in the second row.

A re-jigged back row sees Carl Fearns shift to number eight, with Matt Garvey coming in at blindside flanker and Francois Louw remaining at openside

In terms of form Bath have slipped to three straight Aviva Premiership Rugby defeats and dropped from second to fifth in the table accordingly.

Bath have picked up just ten league points from their last six matches, only London Welsh have a worse return. The only home defeat Bath have suffered in Premiership Rugby this season was against table topping Northampton in round 15.

Sale Sharks’ three game winning run in Aviva Premiership Rugby ended at Leicester on Saturday.

The Sharks’ solitary away win in their last six trips in all tournaments was 52-12 at struggling London Welsh in round 14.

Bath won 29-20 at AJ Bell Stadium in round 1 and have not achieved a season’s double over Sale since 2010/11, whilst Sharks have won on two of their last three visits to the Recreation Ground.

Wayne Barnes will become only the 3rd referee to take charge of 150 Premiership matches, after Chris White (190) and Dave Pearson (171).

Meanwhile Sale Director of Rugby Steve Diamond has made three changes to last week’s side which lost to Leicester Tigers, with Danny Cipriani, Tommy Taylor and David Seymour coming into the starting XV.

Match : Bath Rugby v Sale Sharks
Date : Friday 6th March
Venue : Recreation Ground,
Kick Off : 7.45pm
Live on: BT Sport
Match Officials
Referee :
Wayne Barnes (150th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Andrew Small and Roger Baileff.
TMO: Sean Davey.



15 Tom Homer, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Sam Burgess, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Ollie Devoto, 9 Chris Cook, 8 Carl Fearns, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Nick Auterac

Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Max Lahiff, 18 Kane Palma-Newport, 19 Alafoti Faosiliva, 20 Guy Mercer, 21 Micky Young, 22 Matt Banahan, 23 Luke Arscott


15 Mike Haley, 14 Tom Arscott, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 Magnus Lund, 7 David Seymour, 6 Dan Braid (c), 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Jonathan Mills, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Eifion Lewis Roberts

Replacements: 16 Cameron Neild, 17 James Flynn, 18 Ross Harrison, 19 Josh Beaumont, 20 TJ Ioane, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Tom Brady

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