London Irish v Bath - Aviva Premiership match preview
Last Updated: 22/09/12 10:05am
Ian Humphreys will make his London Irish debut when the Exiles take on Bath at the Madejski Stadium today.
Humphreys, a summer signing from Ulster, will partner fellow Irishman Tomas O'Leary at half-back as one of four changes following the defeat to Wasps.
Prop Halani Aulika also makes his first start, while Matt Garvey and Jamie Gibson come into the pack.
Steven Shingler moves to inside centre to accommodate the inclusion of Humphreys at fly-half as Irish look to register their first win of the season.
Bath will be buoyed by the return of South Africa flanker Francois Louw for the trip to the Exiles.
Louw is available again after playing in the Rugby Championship - and he replaces Ben Skirving in a rejigged back row, with Carl Fearns moving to the blindside and Simon Taylor starting at No.8.
There are also changes to the Bath front-row, with props Nathan Catt and Anthony Perenise teaming up with Lee Mears
Although the back division remains untouched, there is a return for New Zealand World Cup-winner Stephen Donald on the bench.
London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Steven Shingler, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Tomas O'Leary, 1 Max Lahiff, 2 Scott Lawson, 3 Halani Aulika, 4 Bryn Evans, 5 Matt Garvey, 6 Declan Danaher (c), 7 Jamie Gibson, 8 Ofisa Treviranus. Replacements: 16 David Paice, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Alan Cotter, 19 George Skivington, 20 Jon Fisher, 21 Anthony Watson, 22 Shane Geraghty, 23 Jack Moates
Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Kyle Eastmond, 13 Dan Hipkiss, 12 Ben Williams, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Olly Barkley, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Carl Fearns, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Stuart Hooper (c), 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Lee Mears, 1 Nathan Catt. Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Paul James, 18 Kane Palma-Newport, 19 Dave Attwood, 20 Ben Skirving, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Stephen Donald, 23 Jack Cuthbert.
What they said...
London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith
"Bath have made a good start to the season and have an excellent coaching and playing staff.
"Things are not currently where we want them to be but the season is a marathon so we have time to make up the lost ground.
"We've done some very good things over the past few weeks and we need to build on these positives."
Bath head coach Gary Gold
"We know that Irish are a very good side, who will obviously be looking to get off the mark, which actually makes them more of a potent threat for us.
"They have an unpredictability we will have to react to, and it will require us to be on top of our game in all areas to do that."