Bath Rugby prepare to open their 2020/21 Heineken Champions Cup campaign as the Blue, Black and White battle Scarlets, with bragging rights and the renowned Rag Doll on the line once again (kick-off 15:15, BT Sport 2).
In the last meeting between Bath Rugby and Scarlets, the Blue, Black and White won 45-12 in a pre-season friendly back in August 2018. Although in the last competitive fixture, Scarlets came out on top in the Heineken Champions Cup Pool stages with a 35-17 victory at the Rec in January 2018.
Scarlets’ preparation has been far from ideal, with 45 members of staff self-isolating up until Thursday of this week because of coronavirus cases in the camp. They head into the Champions Cup opener without Liam Williams, Johnny Williams, James Davies and Rhys Patchell due to injury.
The Welsh region have not played since their 26-24 Pro14 defeat at Ulster on November 22, as their home game against Leinster a week later was called off after a small number of Scarlets players returned positive cases of Covid-19.
Date: 12 December 2020
Competition: Heineken Champions Cup, Pool A
Where: The Rec
Referee: Alexandre Ruiz (FRA)
Assistant Referees: Christophe Ridley (ENG) & Sara Cox (ENG)
TMO: Ian Tempest (ENG)
Citing Officer: Peter Ferguson
Media Coverage: BBC Radio Bristol, 5 Live, Live on BT Sport 2
CHARLIE EWELS’ THOUGHTS ON SCARLETS
“I enjoyed my time in camp and enjoyed the campaign with England, but it’s nice to be back at the Club now. It’s good to get back stuck in and we’re straight into a new competition this weekend against a top-quality opposition, so it’s going to be a good challenge. We’re very much looking forward to it and to have supporters back as well, it’s very special.
SCARLETS’ CURRENT FORM
Ulster 26-24 Scarlets | PRO 14
Connacht 14-20 Scarlets | PRO 14
Scarlets 3-6 Edinburgh | PRO 14
Benetton 3-10 Scarlets | PRO 14
Glasgow 20-7 Scarlets | PRO 14
LAST TIME OUT
Scarlets took a step towards the European Champions Cup quarter-finals and dented Bath's hopes with a bonus-point victory at the Recreation Ground.
It was a scintillating display of attacking rugby by the visitors, who scored four tries before Matt Banahan and Zach Mercer replied for Bath.
Scarlets were top of the group until Toulon hammered Benetton 36-0 on Sunday.
That set up a Pool 5 decider when Scarlets host Toulon on Saturday
Scarlets' destiny is in their own hands as they prepare to face three-time winners Toulon in their final game on 20 January at Parc y Scarlets.