Aviva Premiership rugby match preview: Bath v Leicester
Last Updated: 20/04/13 1:44pm
Bath are boosted by the return of centre Ben Williams for Saturday's Aviva Premiership clash against second-place Leicester at The Recreation Ground.
Coach Gary Gold welcomes the return of Williams who will start at outside centre to partner Kyle Eastmond in the midfield.
Williams' inclusion sees Semesa Rokoduguni shift to the right wing while Horacio Agulla starts on the opposite side against his former team.
Michael Claassens and Stephen Donald are reunited at half-back for what will be their final appearance at The Rec with the southern hemisphere pairing both moving on at the end of the season.
Bath's front line changes see hooker Rob Webber, lock Dominic Day and flanker Guy Mercer all return to the starting line-up as the hosts chase a third successive Premiership victory.
Leicester welcome the return of international trio Tom Youngs, Geoff Parling and Tom Croft who all missed last weekend's victory against London Wasps.
Croft returns to the starting XV in the flanks while Parling resumes in the second row behind Youngs who slots back in at hooker.
Thomas Waldrom will start in the number eight jersey while Steve Mafi switches to the second row after returning from injury against Wasps last time out.
Coach Richard Cockerill's final change sees him opt for Matt Smith on the wing while Geordan Murphy and Dan Bowden start on the bench.
Three more points will earn a fifth successive home semi-final for the Tigers who have secured a place in the top-four for a ninth consecutive season.
Bath, who have won their last four encounters at The Rec, come up against the most formidable travelling side in the league with Leicester securing 32 points on the road this campaign.
Bath: 15 Ollie Devoto, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Ben Williams, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Horacio Agulla, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Simon Taylor, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Francois Louw (capt), 5 Dave Attwood, 4 Dominic Day, 3 David Wilson, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Paul James.
Replacements:16 Eusebio Guinazu, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Mat Gilbert, 21 Nick Koster, 22 Peter Stringer, 23 Tom Heathcote.
Leicester: 15 Mathew Tait, 14 Matt Smith, 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Toby Flood (capt), 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Julian Salvi, 6 Tom Croft, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Steve Mafi, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Logovi'I Mulipola.
Replacements:16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Fraser Balmain, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Jordan Crane, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 Dan Bowden, 23 Geordan Murphy.
What they said...
Leicester Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill
"We had a good win last week but the job is not done yet. We need the points to secure a home game in the semi-finals, and Bath are also chasing the wins they need to book a place in Europe next season so it will be a big occasion."
Fri 27th Mar
Northampton52 - 30Wasps
Sat 28th Mar
Leicester Tigers25 - 18Exeter
London Irish22 - 21Newcastle Falcons
Saracens42 - 14Harlequins
Sun 29th Mar
Sale Sharks23 - 6Gloucester
London Welsh14 - 29Bath
Fri 10th Apr
Newcastle Falcons0 - 0Bath
Sat 11th Apr
Harlequins0 - 0Gloucester
Saracens0 - 0Leicester Tigers
Sun 12th Apr
Exeter0 - 0Northampton
London Welsh0 - 0Wasps
London Irish0 - 0Sale Sharks
Fri 24th Apr
Bath0 - 0London Irish
Sat 25th Apr
Sale Sharks0 - 0Harlequins
Gloucester0 - 0Newcastle Falcons
Leicester Tigers0 - 0London Welsh
Northampton0 - 0Saracens
Sun 26th Apr
Wasps0 - 0Exeter
Fri 8th May
Harlequins0 - 0Bath
Sat 9th May
Sale Sharks0 - 0Newcastle Falcons
Gloucester0 - 0London Irish
Northampton0 - 0London Welsh
Wasps0 - 0Leicester Tigers
Sun 10th May
Saracens0 - 0Exeter
Sat 16th May
Bath0 - 0Gloucester
Exeter0 - 0Sale Sharks
Leicester Tigers0 - 0Northampton
London Irish0 - 0Wasps
London Welsh0 - 0Saracens
Newcastle Falcons0 - 0Harlequins
Aviva Premiership 2012/13 Round 21
Exeter coach Rob Baxter praised his side after they closed on a place in the Heineken Cup by winning at Wasps.
Exeter closed on the sixth and final Heineken Cup spot for next season with a 37-24 bonus-point victory over Wasps.
Reaction from Soane Tonga'uiha and Brian Mujati after Northampton beat Sale Sharks 47-7 to claim a place in the Aviva Premiership semi-finals.
- Mallinder: Saints staying calm
- Saints secure play-off place
- O'Shea lauds brilliant Care
- Smith praises in-form Aulika
- Ford targets Heineken Cup spot
- Fraser a doubt for Toulon semi
- Quins secure play-off berth
- Irish run riot against Welsh
- Sarries streak comes to a halt
- Louw leaves it late for Bath
- Fiddes' Cent
- Gloucester v Saracens: Teams
- Wasps v Exeter: Teams
- L Irish v L Welsh: Teams
- Worcester v Quins: Teams
- Northampton v Sale: Teams