London Welsh v Bath - Aviva Premiership match preview

Last updated: 4th November 2012   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Matt Banahan Bath Rugby 2011

Matt Banahan: Returns to the Bath starting line-up for his first appearance since the second round of the Premiership

Lyn Jones London Welsh

Lyn Jones: Looking for his side to win first ever league clash with Bath

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London Welsh take on Bath for the first time ever in league history on Sunday at the Kassam Stadium.

Welsh head coach Lyn Jones was forced into a series of late changes to his side after Saturday's training session.

Gordon Ross had been set to start at stand-off but his place is now taken by Gavin Henson, who switches from his more familiar role in the centres.

Tom Voyce is back in midfield after originally being picked on the wing, while Hudson Tonga'uiha is drafted in for Sonny Parker.

Nick Runciman was due to play at scrum-half but he now starts on the bench with the No.9 shirt filled by Tyson Keats.

Meanwhile, Matt Banahan will make his first appearance since the second round of the Premiership as he returns to the Bath starting line-up.

Banahan comes into the outside centre shirt, partnering Ben Williams. Tom Biggs and Kyle Eastmond continue on the wings, with Nick Abendanon at full-back. Stephen Donald and Michael Claassens also continue their half-back partnership.

Anthony Perenise starts at tighthead in place of David Wilson, scrumming down with Lee Mears and Paul James in the front row. Dominic Day and Dave Attwood combine in the engine room once more.

In the back row, injuries to Carl Fearns and Francois Louw see Club captain Stuart Hooper start on the blindside flank, with Will Skuse making his first Premiership start on the openside. Ben Skirving continues at the back of the scrum.

London Welsh: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Tom Voyce, 13 Hudson Tonga'uiha, 12 Seb Jewell, 11 Nick Scott, 10 Gavin Henson, 9 Tyson Keats, 1 Franck Montanella, 2 Neil Briggs, 3 Paulica Ion, 4 Martin Purdy, 5 Kirill Kulemin, 6 Jonathan Mills (c), 7 Mike Denbee, 8 Lee Beach.
Replacements: 16 Greg Bateman, 17 Tom Bristow, 18 Arthur Joly, 19 Adam Brown, 20 Daniel Browne, 21 Nick Runciman, 22 Gordon Ross, 23 James Lewis.

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Kyle Eastmond, 13 Matt Banahan, 12 Ben Williams, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Will Skuse, 6 Stuart Hooper (c), 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Dominic Day, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Brett Sharman, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 Kane Palma-Newport, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Guy Mercer, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Sam Vesty, 23 Horacio Agulla.

What they said...

Bath head coach Gary Gold

"I don't think you can really read much into the pre-season result (when Bath won 40-31), this will be a very different game.

"They're a good group of players, are well coached and have a great attitude to work hard for each other - I've been impressed by what they've done this season."

London Welsh head coach Lyn Jones

"We've got Bath next week and what's important is how we turn up for Bath (after his side's 29-19 defeat to Wasps last week). They're a very good side with some good overseas signings."

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