Bath v Calvisano - Amlin Challenge Cup match preview
Last Updated: 07/12/12 5:50pm
Guy Mercer will captain the Bath for the first time on Saturday for their Amlin Challenge Cup game against Calvisano at the Recreation Ground.
Bath top Pool Four following away bonus point victories over Bucharest Wolves and SU Agen in October while the Italians are winless with two bonus points to their name.
Mercer, who has captained the Bath United side in the Aviva A League for the majority of the season, lines up in the back row alongside fellow Academy graduate Josh Ovens and debutant Nick Koster.
Ryan Caldwell makes his first start of the season, linking up with Dominic Day in the second row. David Wilson returns from international duty to the tighthead shirt, with Brett Sharman and Charlie Beech completing the pack.
Tom Heathcote comes in at fly-half, re-forming his half-back partnership with Mark McMillan who starts at scrum-half.
Former rugby league man Kyle Eastmond retains his position on the right wing, with Olly Woodburn replacing Tom Biggs on the left.
Sam Vesty comes into the inside centre birth to form a new centre partnership with Horacio Agulla, and Jack Cuthbert is named at full-back.
Bath 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Kyle Eastmond, 13 Horacio Agulla, 12 Sam Vesty, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Mark McMillan, 1 Charlie Beech, 2 Brett Sharman, 3 David Wilson, 4 Dominic Day, 5 Ryan Caldwell 6 Josh Ovens, 7 Guy Mercer (c), 8 Nick Koster.
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Anthony Perenise, 18 Kane Palma-Newport, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Will Skuse, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Ollie Devoto, 23 Ben Williams
Calvisano: 15 Shaun Berne, 14 Pablo Canavosio, 13 Andy Vilk, 12 Tommy Castello, 11 Ben De Jager, 10 Paul Griffen, 9 Gullo Palazzani, 1 Andrea Lovotti, 2 Luigi Ferraro, 3 Salvatore Costanzo, 4 Jaco Erasmus, 5 Paino Hehea, 6 Giacomo Brancoli, 7 Stefano Scanferla, 8 Samu Vunisa.
Replacements:16 Andrea Gavazzi, 17 Luca Scarsini, 18 Elia Violi, 19 Luca Beccaris, 20 Gabriele Cicchinelli, 21 Simon Picone, 22 Michele Visentin, 23 Alberto Bergamo
What they said...
Bath first team coach Brad Davis
"We are going into a new competition, playing against opposition who we don't know too much about," said Davis
"I think that is something really refreshing because your focus comes back onto what you are doing and the game you are trying to put out on the field.
"This gives us a chance for players who have just been on the peripheral and pushing hard in training week in, week out to get to get their opportunity.
"It's quite easy to get motivated for games against the champions and your arch enemies, but the key test is having that mentality and physicality in games you're expected to win."
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