Bath to go all out against Gloucester
February 27, 2009
Joe Maddock returns at fullback for Bath © Getty Images
Bath head coach Steve Meehan has demanded an attacking approach from his side against close rivals Gloucester this weekend.
Bath will have to bounce back from their disappointing draw against London Irish last weekend, when they threw away a 17-0 half-time lead to draw 20-20.
"We just have to play the way we did in the first half against London Irish," Meehan said. "If we don't go really big there is no point."
"They are probably not playing as well as they would have liked - a bit like we were feeling through December and January - but they are still knocking out valuable wins when necessary. It is going to be very difficult no doubt."
Andrew Higgins retains his place on the wing, making his 100th appearance for Bath, while Joe Maddock returns at fullback. James Scaysbrook stays on the openside flank in place of skipper Michael Lipman, who is still out with concussion.
Gloucester head coach Dean Ryan welcomes back fullback Olly Morgan and centre Anthony Allen for the game, with Morgan making his first appearance since their exit from the Heineken Cup at the hands of Biarritz in January.
Former Bath favourite Olly Barkley has to make do with a place on the bench, with Allen taking his place at No.12. Allen starts alongside James Simpson-Daniel in the centre, with Carlos Spencer again taking the fly-half jersey.
"Tomorrow will be about two really good teams coming together," said Gloucester boss Dean Ryan. "We are both pretty consistent and are renowned for producing formidable contests - not just this season but throughout the history of the rivalry."
Bath: Joe Maddock, Andrew Higgins, Alex Crockett (capt), Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, Matt Banahan, Butch James, Michael Claassens, David Barnes, Rob Hawkins, Duncan Bell, Justin Harrison, Peter Short, Andy Beattie, James Scaysbrook, Daniel Browne
Replacements: Mark Lilley, Aaron Jarvis, Stuart Hooper, Jonny Faamatuainu, Scott Bemand, Shaun Berne, Michael Stephenson
Gloucester: Olly Morgan, Iain Balshaw, James Simpson-Daniel, Anthony Allen, Charlie Sharples, Carlos Spencer, Rory Lawson, Gareth Delve, Andy Hazell, Apo Satala, Alex Brown, Adam Eustace, Greg Somerville, Olivier Azam, Nick Wood
Replacements: Andy Titterrell, Jack Forster, Danny Wright, Dan Williams, Gareth Cooper, Ryan Lamb, Olly Barkle.