Gloucester v Bath - LV= Cup match preview
Last Updated: 02/02/13 2:04pm
Gloucester cannot reach the semi-finals of this season's LV= Cup, so will be playing for pride instead when they host Bath on Saturday at Kingsholm.
Gloucester's last seven encounters in the tournament since they won the 2011 final have all been won by the home side on the day. Gloucester's only defeat in the Anglo-Welsh Cup at Kingsholm was to Cardiff Blues (25-26) on 8 November 2009.
Fit-again Rupert Harden returns for his first Gloucester action since December 15, although Shaun Knight is not fit to play but should be ready for next weekend's Premiership trip to Northampton.
Bath are attempting to reach a second successive LV= Cup semi-final and need to outscore Northampton by at least one match point to do so.
Bath have won their last three matches in all competitions but all three have been at The Rec. Bath's only victory on the road since October was 39-5 at Calvisano in the Amlin Challenge Cup on 15 December.
Bath have won just one of their last ten encounters with Gloucester in all competitions: 24-8 at The Rec in the Premiership on 27 December 2009. Bath's most recent victory over Gloucester at Kingsholm was 18-15 in the Premiership in February 2006.
The two teams have met twice before in this tournament: Bath winning 21-12 at The Rec in December 2005 and Gloucester victorious at Kingsholm (30-12) a year later.
Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Tim Molenaar, 11 Shane Monahan, 10 Ryan Mills, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Andy Hazell, 6 Peter Buxton, 5 Lua Lokotui, 4 Tom Savage, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Huia Edmonds, 1 Dan Murphy.
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Tom Heard, 19 Akapusi Qera, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Billy Burns, 23 Martyn Thomas.
Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Matt Banahan, 12 Sam Vesty, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Carl Fearns, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Dominic Day, 4 Dave Attwood, 3 Anthony Perenise, 2 Rob Webber, 1 Charlie Beech.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Kane Palma-Newport, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Mat Gilbert, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Semesa Rokoduguni, 23 Jack Cuthbert.
What they said ...
Gloucester forwards coach Carl Hogg
"We want to springboard forward into the Premiership games - but at the same time this is a standalone and special fixture," said Hogg.
"Regardless of the cup or the league, this is important. They will bring a strong side and it will be a big challenge for us. We cannot get that springboard we're after without a good performance against Bath anyway."
Bath lock Dave Attwood
"It doesn't matter that it's a different competition - a Bath-Gloucester game is a Bath-Gloucester game," said 25-year-old Attwood.
"At the end of the day it's a group of West County blokes against another group of West Country blokes, all trying to batter one another.
"I don't think there is such a thing as a low-key game between the two clubs. It means an awful lot to the supporters and the players."
LV= Cup 2012/13 Round Four
Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea was delighted to see his young side set-up a home LV= Cup semi-final.
Ospreys host Harlequins at Brewery Field this Sunday with both teams still in with a chance of qualifying.
There is little but pride to play for on Sunday as London Welsh take on the Newport Gwent Dragons in the LV= Cup.