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- Aviva Premiership
- 15th Sep 2007
- KO 14:15
- Ground: The Rec
- Att: 10,010
Bath v Worcester: Teams
At The Rec, Saturday September 15, kick-off 2.15pm
Player to watch: Nick Abendanon - The Bath flyer is another player who is unlucky not to be on World Cup duty in France after impressing for the Saxons and then in South Africa. An elusive runner, he has the pace to cut through the Worcester defence.
Match fact: Bath are unbeaten in their last 10 competitive matches at The Rec, while Worcester have not won away since March 9.
Betting: For the latest Guinness Premiership odds, click here.
Bath coach Steve Meehan is confident his side can get off to a winning start against Worcester after a promising pre-season.
Bath won all their four friendly fixtures, beating Richmond, Llanelli, Edinburgh and Leinster and Meehan believes this will stand his side in good stead.
He told the club's official site: "I think they have progressed particularly in the sense that they really take the field with confidence.
"Their individual skill level has helped them really mould as a team, and their set-piece work has evolved from last season as well.
"Certainly, because our pre-season has been a successful one, it has enabled us to be better prepared as a result - we are comfortable with where we are."
Meehan has handed debuts to South African scrum-half Michael Claassens and lock Martin Purdy, while former Northampton forward Daniel Browne is named on the bench.
New Worcester director of rugby Mike Ruddock has insisted there is a "real buzz" among his Warriors ahead of the visit to Bath.
Former Wales chief Ruddock has taken over the reins at Sixways from John Brain and he is impressed with what he has seen in the build up to the season.
He told the club's official site: "It's always going to be difficult at The Rec and a challenge - Bath have impressed in pre-season.
"But we back ourselves, believe in ourselves and will go down there to get a result.
"Pre-season preparations have gone well and the squad's fitness level has improved, there is a real buzz in the camp and hopefully we can perform well enough to get a result.
"In any sport it is all about confidence and rugby is no different, you can't underestimate the importance of a good start and if we can hit the ground running that would be fantastic."
Back row Kai Horstmann will wear the No.8 shirt after being declared fit after having shoulder surgery in the summer.
Ruddock has also named academy products Tom Wood and Chris Pennell in his line-up, while skipper Pat Sanderson and Shane Drahm return after missing the friendly with London Irish.
Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Jack Cuthbert, 13 Tom Cheeseman, 12 Shaun Berne, 11 Matt Banahan, 10 Ryan Davis, 9 Michael Claassens, 1 David Barnes, 2 Pieter Dixon, 3 Aaron Jarvis, 4 Martin Purdy, 5 Peter Short, 6 Andy Beattie, 7 Chris Goodman, 8 Zak Feaunati (c).
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Laurence Ovens, 18 Rob Fidler, 19 Jonny Faamatuainu, 20 Daniel Browne, 21 Nick Walshe, 22 Andy Higgins.
Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell,14 Thinus Delport, 13 Dale Rasmussen, 12 Gary Trueman, 11 Marcel Garvey, 10 Shane Drahm, 9 Matt Powell, 1 Tony Windo, 2 Chris Fortey, 3 Tevita Taumoepeau, 4 Phil Murphy, 5 Craig Gillies, 6 Tom Wood, 7 Pat Sanderson (c), 8 Kai Horstmann.
Replacement: 16 Darren Morris, 17 Ben Gotting, 18 Will Bowley, 19 Gavin Quinnell, 20 Ryan Powell, 21 James Brown, 22 Mark Tucker.
|Click here for more betting|
|Friday 14th November|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Harlequins|
|19:45||Northampton vs Exeter|
|Saturday 15th November|
|14:00||Sale vs London Irish|
|17:00||Bath vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 16th November|
|13:00||Leicester vs Saracens|
|15:15||Wasps vs London Welsh|
|Friday 21st November|
|19:45||Harlequins vs Sale|
|20:00||Newcastle vs Gloucester|
|Saturday 22nd November|
|15:00||London Irish vs Bath|
|15:00||Exeter vs Wasps|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|13:00||Saracens vs Northampton|
|15:15||London Welsh vs Leicester|
|Friday 28th November|
|19:45||Bath vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 29th November|
|15:00||Leicester vs Wasps|
|16:30||Exeter vs Saracens|
|Sunday 30th November|
|13:00||London Irish vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Northampton|
|15:15||Newcastle vs Sale|
|Saturday 20th December|
|14:00||Sale vs Exeter|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Bath|
|15:00||Northampton vs Leicester|
|15:00||Saracens vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 21st December|
|14:00||Wasps vs London Irish|
|Friday 26th December|
|15:00||London Irish vs London Welsh|
|Sunday 12th October|
|Wasps 29 - 22 Bath|
|Saturday 11th October|
|Northampton 43 - 10 Sale Sharks|
|Saracens 28 - 21 Gloucester|
|Exeter 44 - 24 London Irish|
|London Welsh 3 - 23 Newcastle|
|Friday 10th October|
|Leicester 22 - 16 Harlequins|
|Sunday 5th October|
|Newcastle 29 - 24 Exeter|
|Sale 25 - 14 Wasps|
|Saturday 4th October|
|Gloucester 33 - 16 Leicester|
|Harlequins 52 - 0 London Welsh|
|London Irish 12 - 19 Northampton|
|Friday 3rd October|
|Bath 21 - 11 Saracens|
|Sunday 28th September|
|Wasps 35 - 18 Newcastle|
|Exeter 36 - 13 Harlequins|
|Saturday 27th September|
|Northampton 31 - 24 Bath|
|Leicester 19 - 22 London Irish|
|Saracens 40 - 19 Sale Sharks|
|Friday 26th September|
|London Welsh 10 - 46 Gloucester|
|Sunday 21st September|
|Newcastle 10 - 35 Northampton|
|Saturday 20th September|
|Bath 45 - 0 Leicester|
|Harlequins 26 - 23 Wasps|
|London Irish 32 - 36 Saracens|
|Sale 46 - 8 London Welsh|
|Friday 19th September|
|Gloucester 22 - 25 Exeter|
|Sunday 14th September|
|Newcastle 18 - 20 London Irish|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com