Quick links: Rugby Video | Six Nations Rugby | Premiership Rugby | LV= Cup | Rugby Championship | Heineken Cup Rugby | Pro 12 Rugby | Super Rugby | Currie Cup Rugby | Rugby World Cup

Bath Rugby v Saracens Premiership Preview

Bath host Saracens at the Recreation Ground

Email Article | | Print Article | Click here for a free $150 Bet

Article Published: Friday 21 December 2012

Bath have made six changes to the starting line-up that beat Calvisano in the Amlin Challenge Cup last weekend for their Aviva Premiership match against Saracens at at the Recreation Ground.

Nick Abendanon returns at fullback, and Horacio Agulla and Tom Biggs start on the wings. Kyle Eastmond continues at outside centre with Ben Williams inside him.

Stephen Donald and Michael Claassens continue their half-back partnership.

Paul James and Lee Mears both come back into the front row, packing down alongside David Wilson. Captain Stuart Hooper also returns to the starting line-up, partnering Dominic Day in the second row.

Simon Taylor shifts to number 8, with Francois Louw coming in on the blindside and Guy Mercer taking the openside.

With tomorrow being the last Saturday before Christmas it is anticipated that the centre of Bath will be very busy, as will the roads, trains and buses into the city, so please leave plenty of time to make your way to the Rec.

Bath Rugby's last seven games in Aviva Premiership Rugby have all been won by the home side on the day.

Bath's only defeat in their last eight matches at The Rec in all competitions was 14-18 to Northampton in the Premiership on 14 September.

Saracens' last seven encounters in all competitions have also been won by the home side on the day, whilst Sarries have not won away from home since they beat Northampton 16-6 at Franklin's Gardens in the Premiership on 27 October.

However, Saracens remain the best away side in the Premiership with 17 league points accumulated on their travels so far. Saracens are in second spot in the table despite scoring AND conceding just nine tries in their ten games so far.

Bath's only victory in their last seven fixtures with Saracens in all competitions was 16-14 at Vicarage Road in the Premiership on 28 February 2010.

Sarries have won on their last three visits to The Rec and Director of Rugby Mark McCall has made three changes to the starting line-up that beat Munster last weekend.

In the backs, Alex Goode and Brad Barritt are rested which sees Chris Wyles start at full back and Charlie Hodgson named at fly-half. Owen Farrell switches to inside centre.

In the forwards, Mako Vunipola starts the match with Rhys Gill switching to the bench. Andy Saull also returns after missing last week with a hamstring injury.

Ernst Joubert, Jackson Wray, Alistair Hargreaves, Joe Maddock, Adam Powell, Jacques Burger and Justin Melck all miss the match through injury.

Match : Bath Rugby v Saracens
Date : Saturday 22nd December
Venue : Recreation Ground
Kick Off : 1.15pm
Live on: ESPN HD
Match Officials
Greg Garner (40th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Roy Maybank, Gareth Copsey.
TMO: Graham Hughes



15. Nick Abendanon, 14. Horacio Agulla, 13. Kyle Eastmond , 12. Ben Williams , 11. Tom Biggs, 10. Stephen Donald , 9. Michael Claassens, 1. Paul James, 2. Lee Mears, 3. David Wilson , 4. Stuart Hooper (c), 5. Dominic Day, 6. Francois Louw, 7. Guy Mercer, 8. Simon Taylor

Replacements :16. Tom Dunn, 17. Charlie Beech, 18. Anthony Perenise, 19. Dave Attwood, 20. Will Skuse, 21. Mark McMillan , 22. Tom Heathcote, 23. Dan Hipkiss


15 Chris Wyles , 14 Chris Ashton , 13 Joel Tomkins , 12 Owen Farrell , 11 David Strettle , 10 Charlie Hodgson , 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Kelly Brown , 7 Will Fraser , 6 George Kruis, 5 Mouritz Botha , 4 Steve Borthwick (c) , 3 Matt Stevens , 2 Schalk Brits ,1 Mako Vunipola

Replacements :16 Jamie George , 17 Rhys Gill , 18 Petrus du Plessis , 19 Eoin Sheriff , 20 Andy Saull , 21 Neil de Kock , 22 Duncan Taylor , 23 James Short

Heineken Cup Rugby News
McCall excited about Champions Cup fixtures
aracens Director of Rugby Mark McCall says that he believes their opening Champions Cup fixture at Allianz Park against Stade Toulousain provides the Aviva Premiership Champions with an "incredibly exciting" start the 2015/16 competition
Read more on this Rugby news article

Other recent news
Toulon in pool of death for European Champions Cup
European Champions Cup final venues confirmed
Leinster part company with coach Matt O'Connor

More Heineken Cup Rugby News

Aviva Premiership
Anglo Welsh Cup News
Six Nations Rugby
Ritchie: England finishing second is 'not acceptable'
Rugby Football Union (RFU) chief executive Ian Ritchie has said that England's fourth consecutive runners-up finish in the Six Nations is "not acceptable".
Read more on this Rugby news article

Other recent news
Frenzied 6N finale sends World Cup warning
Mike Brown slams lacklustre Italy and Scotland
Ireland end 60 year wait for back to back titles

More Six Nations Rugby News

Rugby Week Sponsor
Latest Rugby video