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Bath v Harlequins Premiership Preview

Bath host Harlequins at The Recreation Ground

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Article Published: Thursday 22 November 2012

Aviva Premiership Rugby Champions Harlequins have named Nick Evans as one of seven changes to the team that will face Bath at the Recreation Ground on Friday evening.

The seven changes have been made to the starting line up that beat Bath in the Anglo Welsh LV= Cup as Ugo Monye, George Robson and Jordan Turner-Hall start after being released by England.

Former All Black Nick Evans returns from an ankle injury to start at fly-half and partners Karl Dickson at scrum-half.

In the forwards, the front row is unchanged while Captain Nick Easter is joined by Luke Wallace and Tom Guest in the back row.

Among the replacements, Jordan Burns will look to make his first senior appearance for the club, while Rory Clegg and Seb Stegmann cover the backs.

Bath Rugby's only defeat in their last six matches at The Rec in all competitions was 14-18 to Northampton Saints in Aviva Premiership Rugby on 14 September. Bath have not tallied a try bonus point in the Premiership since March.

Harlequins have won their last six encounters in all competitions, and have lost just once away from home this season: 28-42 at Exeter in the Premiership on 6 October.

Harlequins have won their last three clashes with Bath including a 21-12 victory last Friday at the Twickenham Stoop in the Anglo-Welsh LV= Cup.

Bath have been able to bring club captain Stuart Hooper back to link up with Dave Attwood in the second row, as Charlie Beech and Anthony Perenise prop down either side of Lee Mears at hooker.

Josh Ovens will make his first Premiership start of the season on the blindside flank, with Guy Mercer on the openside and Simon Taylor at number 8.

Michael Claassens and Stephen Donald renew their southern hemisphere half-back partnership, whilst Kyle Eastmond returns to the right wing and Tom Biggs continues on the left.

Semesa Rokoduguni is in line to make his first Premiership start, partnering Matt Banahan in the centres. Nick Abendanon comes in at fullback to complete the line-up.

Scrum-half Michael Claassens, who made his 150th appearance for Bath last week, knows that tomorrow night's game will be a tough test for the home side.

"Having lost out to Harlequins in the LV= Cup last week, this is our chance to learn from the mistakes we made and improve on them at the Rec.

"To test ourselves against the likes of Quins is massive for us, and it's probably the biggest match of our season so far - it's a chance for us to prove we can compete with the best."

Match: Bath Rugby v Harlequins
Date : Friday 23rd November
Venue : Recreation Ground,
Kick Off : 7.45pm
Live on: Sky Sports HD
Match Officials
J P Doyle (49th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Paul Burton, Andrew Pearce.
TMO: David Grashoff.



15. Nick Abendanon,14. Kyle Eastmond,13. Semesa Rokoduguni,12. Matt Banahan,11. Tom Biggs,10. Stephen Donald,9. Michael Claassens,8. Simon Taylor,7. Guy Mercer,,6. Josh Ovens,5. Dave Attwood,4. Stuart Hooper (c),3. Anthony Perenise ,2. Lee Mears,,1. Charlie Beech

Replacements:16. Brett Sharman,17. Alan Cotter,18. Kane Palma-Newport,19. Dominic Day,20. Ryan Caldwell,21. Will Skuse,22. Mark McMillan,23. Jack Cuthbert


15. Tom Williams, 14. Ugo Monye, 13. Matt Hopper, 12. Jordan Turner-Hall, 11. Sam Smith, 10. Nick Evans, 9. Karl Dickson, 8. Nick Easter (c), 7. Luke Wallace, 6. Tom Guest, 5. George Robson, 4. Olly Kohn, 3. Will Collier, 2. Joe Gray, 1. Mark Lambert

Replacements : 16. Rob Buchanan, 17. Darryl Marfo, 18. Kyle Sinckler, 19. Pete Browne, 20. Joe Trayfoot, 21. Jordan Burns, 22. Rory Clegg, 23. Seb Stegmann

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