Bath Rugby travel to face Gallagher Premiership newcomers London Irish at the Madejski Stadium in the penultimate fixture 2019 on Sunday afternoon. Here’s a closer look at our domestic rivals…
Ground – Madejski Stadium (24,161)
Head of Rugby – Declan Kidney
Greene King IPA Championship finish 2018/19 – 1st (Champions)
Toulon (H) - 20-26 (L)
Toulon (A) - 17-37 (L)
Bristol Bears (A) - 27-27 (D)
ONES TO WATCH
Blair Cowan joined London Irish ahead of the 2013/14 season and made an immediate impression, winning the Players’ Player of the Season award. He is a highly regarded openside flanker and is also a Scotland international. Cowan has made over 114 appearances and scored 23 tries throughout his time with the Exiles.
The experienced fly-half is third on the Premiership's all-time list of point scorers with 1,697 points and has played more than 300 times for Northampton Saints including a man-of-the-match display in the 2014 Aviva Premiership final triumph over Saracens.
Hailing from a famous rugby league family, Myler began his playing career in the 13-aside game and made 49 Super League appearances for his hometown club Widnes Vikings. His excellent kicking game coupled with an attacking flair soon came to the attention of Northampton who secured a deal for the cross-code switch.
Myler signed for London Irish in the summer of 2018 and made 18 appearances during his first season with the club.
May 5th 2018
Bath Rugby 63 (35)
Tries: Faletau, Vanu, Banahan 3, Wilson 2, Stooke, Vaughan Cons: Priestland 5, Burns 4
London Irish 19 (0)
Tries: McNally 2, Loader Cons: Tonks, Paice
Bath: 15. Homer, 14. Vuna, 13. Banahan, 12. J Wilson, 11. Brew, 10. Priestland, 9. Fotuali'i; 1. Noguera, 2. Dunn, 3. Perenise, 4. Garvey (c), 5. Stooke, 6. Ellis, 7. Louw, 8. Faletau.
Replacements: 16.Walker, 17. Vaughan, 18. Delmas, 19. Phillips, 20. Mercer, 21. Green, 22. Burns, 23. Clark.
London Irish: 15. Tonks, 14. Cokanasigsa, 13. Fowlie, 12. Mulchrone, 11. Loader, 10. Brophy Clews, 9. Steele; 1. Elrington, 2. Porecki, 3. Hoskins, 4. Van der Merwe (c), 5. De Chaves, 6. McNally, 7. Cowan, 8. Treviranus.
Replacements: 16. Paice, 17. Franks, 18. Du Plessis, 19. Cooke, 20. Basham, 21. Van Zyl, 22. J Williams, 23. Lewington
WORD FROM THE LONDON IRISH CAMP
Australin hooker, Saia Fainga’a: “It is always exciting to play Bath, every time we come up against them it is always a tough game” said the former Australia forward.
“They have a big pack and we know they are going to come hard at set piece time, we are looking forward to the challenge. It has been good having the exposure against Toulon and coming up against the powers of their big pack, so for us we are well prepared and excited for game day.”