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Bath

  • Abendanon,
    Penalty goals: Barkley (3),
14 - 18

Northampton


  • Penalty goals: Myler (5),
    Drop goals: May,

Bath v Northampton: Teams

At The Rec, Friday September 14, kick-off 7.45pm

Last updated: 13th September 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Jim Mallinder Northampton

Jim Mallinder: Admits it will be a tough test for the Saints at The Rec

 Gary Gold Newcastle coach

Gary Gold: Believes Bath can improve on their performance against Wasps

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Bath and Northampton put their 100 per cent Aviva Premiership records on the line in Friday night's clash at the Recreation Ground.

Saints head to the west country following victories over Gloucester and Exeter, while Bath defeated Worcester and Wasps in their opening two Premiership games.

Friday's winners will go top of the table, although it is likely to be a short-lived stay, and Bath head coach Gary Gold said his squad have been working hard ahead of the clash.

He said: "Northampton are a very strong side, who have made a good start to the competition.

"We all know about their strength in the forwards, but they also back that up with some hugely skilful backs who can attack from anywhere on the field.

"We were pleased with the performance against Wasps, but we know there is still more we can do to improve and we have been working hard on this."

Tough test

Northampton rugby director Jim Mallinder admitted it will be a tough test for his side at The Rec.

He said: "Bath will be a big challenge. They have started the season very well.

"They came from a long way behind and held their nerve to win at Sixways, while against Wasps last weekend they put together some dangerous attacking moves.

"The Rec is always a tough place to play. It is a place where the fans are right on top of you and where it can be intimidating for visiting teams, so it is up to us as to how we respond.

"At times in our first two games we have played well and scored good tries, but we have also been guilty of not finishing games off, and this is something we will be looking to improve."

Team news

Mallinder has made four changes from the team that edged out Exeter 24-21 last Sunday, with one of them enforced.

South African number eight Gerrit-Jan van Velze is serving a four-week ban after being cited for a tip tackle on Exeter scrum-half Will Chudley.

Van Velze admitted the offence at a Rugby Football Football Union disciplinary hearing earlier this week, and he must now sit out Premiership games against Bath, Worcester, Wasps and London Irish.

Former Wales back-row forward Rhys Oakley fills the number eight role, while other see switches see centre Luther Burrell replacing George Pisi, fly-half Stephen Myler in for Ryan Lamb and prop Tom Mercey taking over from Brian Mujati.

Bath show two changes, with Ben Williams replacing injured centre Matt Banahan and Wales prop Paul James starting instead of Nathan Catt.

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Kyle Eastmond, 13 Dan Hipkiss, 12 Ben Williams, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Olly Barkley, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Carl Fearns, 6 Simon Taylor, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 David Wilson, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Paul James.
Replacements 16 Ross Batty, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Dave Attwood, 20 Josh Ovens, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Ollie Devoto, 23 Jack Cuthbert.

Northampton: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Ken Pisi, 13 Dom Waldouck, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Vasily Artemyev, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Rhys Oakley, 7 Tom Wood, 6 Phil Dowson, 5 Christian Day, 4 Samu Manoa, 3 Tom Mercey, 2 Dylan Hartley (c), 1 Soane Tonga'uiha. Replacements16 Mike Haywood, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Paul Doran Jones, 19 Mark Sorenson, 20 Courtney Lawes, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Tom May.

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Forthcoming Aviva Premiership Fixtures
TimeFixture
Aviva Premiership
Friday 5th September
Aviva Premiership
19:45Northampton vs Gloucester
Saturday 6th September
14:00Sale vs Bath
14:00Saracens vs Wasps
15:00Leicester vs Newcastle
16:30London Irish vs Harlequins
Sunday 7th September
14:00London Welsh vs Exeter
Friday 12th September
19:45Harlequins vs Saracens
Saturday 13th September
15:00Gloucester vs Sale
15:00Bath vs London Welsh
15:15Exeter vs Leicester
Sunday 14th September
14:00Wasps vs Northampton
15:00Newcastle vs London Irish
Friday 19th September
19:45Gloucester vs Exeter
Saturday 20th September
14:00Sale vs London Welsh
15:00Harlequins vs Wasps
15:00London Irish vs Saracens
15:15Bath vs Leicester
Sunday 21st September
14:00Newcastle vs Northampton
Friday 26th September
19:45London Welsh vs Gloucester
Saturday 27th September
15:00Leicester vs London Irish
15:00Saracens vs Sale
15:15Northampton vs Bath
Sunday 28th September
14:00Wasps vs Newcastle
14:00Exeter vs Harlequins
Friday 3rd October
19:45Bath vs Saracens

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