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- European Rugby Challenge Cup
- Pool 4
- 8th Dec 2012
- KO 14:15
- Ground: The Recreation Ground
- Att: 11,445
Bath v Calvisano - Amlin Challenge Cup match preview
Guy Mercer will captain the Bath for the first time on Saturday for their Amlin Challenge Cup game against Calvisano at the Recreation Ground.
Bath top Pool Four following away bonus point victories over Bucharest Wolves and SU Agen in October while the Italians are winless with two bonus points to their name.
Mercer, who has captained the Bath United side in the Aviva A League for the majority of the season, lines up in the back row alongside fellow Academy graduate Josh Ovens and debutant Nick Koster.
Ryan Caldwell makes his first start of the season, linking up with Dominic Day in the second row. David Wilson returns from international duty to the tighthead shirt, with Brett Sharman and Charlie Beech completing the pack.
Tom Heathcote comes in at fly-half, re-forming his half-back partnership with Mark McMillan who starts at scrum-half.
Former rugby league man Kyle Eastmond retains his position on the right wing, with Olly Woodburn replacing Tom Biggs on the left.
Sam Vesty comes into the inside centre birth to form a new centre partnership with Horacio Agulla, and Jack Cuthbert is named at full-back.
Bath 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Kyle Eastmond, 13 Horacio Agulla, 12 Sam Vesty, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Mark McMillan, 1 Charlie Beech, 2 Brett Sharman, 3 David Wilson, 4 Dominic Day, 5 Ryan Caldwell 6 Josh Ovens, 7 Guy Mercer (c), 8 Nick Koster.
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Anthony Perenise, 18 Kane Palma-Newport, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Will Skuse, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Ollie Devoto, 23 Ben Williams
Calvisano: 15 Shaun Berne, 14 Pablo Canavosio, 13 Andy Vilk, 12 Tommy Castello, 11 Ben De Jager, 10 Paul Griffen, 9 Gullo Palazzani, 1 Andrea Lovotti, 2 Luigi Ferraro, 3 Salvatore Costanzo, 4 Jaco Erasmus, 5 Paino Hehea, 6 Giacomo Brancoli, 7 Stefano Scanferla, 8 Samu Vunisa.
Replacements:16 Andrea Gavazzi, 17 Luca Scarsini, 18 Elia Violi, 19 Luca Beccaris, 20 Gabriele Cicchinelli, 21 Simon Picone, 22 Michele Visentin, 23 Alberto Bergamo
What they said...
Bath first team coach Brad Davis
"We are going into a new competition, playing against opposition who we don't know too much about," said Davis
"I think that is something really refreshing because your focus comes back onto what you are doing and the game you are trying to put out on the field.
"This gives us a chance for players who have just been on the peripheral and pushing hard in training week in, week out to get to get their opportunity.
"It's quite easy to get motivated for games against the champions and your arch enemies, but the key test is having that mentality and physicality in games you're expected to win."
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|European Rugby Challenge Cup|
|Sunday 25th January|
|European Rugby Challenge Cup|
|London Welsh 12 - 17 Lyon Olympique|
|Saturday 24th January|
|Exeter 45 - 3 Bayonne|
|La Rochelle 20 - 30 Connacht|
|Newport Gwent D'gons 30 - 19 Stade Francais|
|Bucuresti 10 - 52 Newcastle|
|Grenoble 3 - 28 Cardiff Blues|
|Rovigo 6 - 34 London Irish|
|Friday 23rd January|
|Edinburgh 38 - 20 Bordeaux-Begles|
|Thursday 22nd January|
|Brive 20 - 31 Gloucester|
|Oyonnax 20 - 3 Zebre|
|Sunday 18th January|
|Connacht 24 - 33 Exeter|
|Saturday 17th January|
|Lyon Olympique 21 - 19 Edinburgh|
|Bayonne 14 - 0 La Rochelle|
|Newcastle 29 - 40 Newport Gwent D'gons|
|London Irish 43 - 41 Grenoble|
|Zebre 23 - 13 Brive|
|Gloucester 33 - 3 Oyonnax|
|Stade Francais 47 - 12 Bucuresti|
|Friday 16th January|
|Bordeaux-Begles 26 - 3 London Welsh|
|Cardiff Blues 104 - 12 Rovigo|
|Sunday 14th December|
|London Welsh 6 - 24 Edinburgh|
|Saturday 13th December|
|Bayonne 27 - 29 Connacht|
|Oyonnax 22 - 17 Brive|
|London Irish 34 - 23 Cardiff Blues|
|Zebre 16 - 32 Gloucester|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com