Aviva Premiership rugby match preview: Bath v Leicester

Last updated: 20th April 2013  

Tom Croft Leicester Saracens

Tom Croft is fit again to return to the Leicester line-up

Bath back Ben Williams

Bath's Ben Willaims returns to the starting line-up to face Leicester on Saturday

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Bath are boosted by the return of centre Ben Williams for Saturday's Aviva Premiership clash against second-place Leicester at The Recreation Ground.

Coach Gary Gold welcomes the return of Williams who will start at outside centre to partner Kyle Eastmond in the midfield.

Williams' inclusion sees Semesa Rokoduguni shift to the right wing while Horacio Agulla starts on the opposite side against his former team.

Michael Claassens and Stephen Donald are reunited at half-back for what will be their final appearance at The Rec with the southern hemisphere pairing both moving on at the end of the season.

Bath's front line changes see hooker Rob Webber, lock Dominic Day and flanker Guy Mercer all return to the starting line-up as the hosts chase a third successive Premiership victory.

Leicester welcome the return of international trio Tom Youngs, Geoff Parling and Tom Croft who all missed last weekend's victory against London Wasps.

Croft returns to the starting XV in the flanks while Parling resumes in the second row behind Youngs who slots back in at hooker.

Thomas Waldrom will start in the number eight jersey while Steve Mafi switches to the second row after returning from injury against Wasps last time out.

Coach Richard Cockerill's final change sees him opt for Matt Smith on the wing while Geordan Murphy and Dan Bowden start on the bench.

Three more points will earn a fifth successive home semi-final for the Tigers who have secured a place in the top-four for a ninth consecutive season.

Bath, who have won their last four encounters at The Rec, come up against the most formidable travelling side in the league with Leicester securing 32 points on the road this campaign.

Bath: 15 Ollie Devoto, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Ben Williams, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Horacio Agulla, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Francois Louw (capt), 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Dominic Day, 3 David Wilson, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Paul James.
Replacements:16 Eusebio Guinazu, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Mat Gilbert, 21 Nick Koster, 22 Peter Stringer, 23 Tom Heathcote.

Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Matt Smith, 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Toby Flood (capt), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Steve Mafi, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Logovi'I Mulipola.
Replacements:16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Fraser Balmain, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Jordan Crane, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Dan Bowden, 23 Geordan Murphy.

What they said...

Leicester Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill

"We had a good win last week but the job is not done yet. We need the points to secure a home game in the semi-finals, and Bath are also chasing the wins they need to book a place in Europe next season so it will be a big occasion."

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