Bath Rugby welcome familiar opponents Harlequins to the Rec on Saturday afternoon as we hit the halfway point of the Gallagher Premiership season. Here’s a closer look at Saturday’s opponents…
Ground – The Twickenham Stoop (14,816)
Director of Rugby – Paul Gustard
Gallagher Premiership 2018/19 – 5th
London Irish (H) – 15-29 (L)
Saracens (H) – 41-14 (W)
Clermont (H) – 26-19 (L)
ONES TO WATCH
When Harlequins play well, Danny Care is usually at the heart of matters. Formerly England’s most capped scrum-half with 84 caps since his debut in 2008 against New Zealand, Care was born in Leeds and came through the academy system at Yorkshire (then Leeds) Carnegie. Care possesses the ability to light up a rugby match akin to any world class nine, his waspish speed and clever game management a serious thorn in the side for any opposition. He has made a staggering 273 appearances for Harlequins – 10 this season scoring a single try in the thumping of Saracens at the end of January. As his media career blossoms on the BBCs Rugby Union Weekly podcast, he will want to add more to that tally to offset the gentle ribbing of his co-hosts Ugo Monye and Chris Jones. Bath had better beware today.
With 19 caps for the USA, Grid Iron convert Paul Lasike has forged an impressive career in professional sport having joined Harlequins at the outset of the 2018/19 season from the Utah Warriors. A bullish and physically imposing 12, he has cemented his place in the starting line-up for the quartered men since the turn of the year, playing five full 80-minute shifts and scoring a try against Saracens in the last round, as well as one against Leicester at Twickenham at Big Game 12 just after Christmas. Lasike played in the NFL for Chicago Bears before converting to rugby and last week inked a new deal with Quins to extend his stay in London.
Matt Symons joined Harlequins for the 2018/19 season from Wasps and quickly established himself as a crucial figure in the squad, thanks to his consistency of performance and his natural leadership qualities. One of a very select group of English players to experience Super Rugby (courtesy of a season in New Zealand with the Chiefs) Symons went on make 26 appearances for the Club across all competitions in his first campaign, and has played a vital role in improving the team’s operations at the set piece. Prior to joining Wasps, Symons represented London Irish, where he was named their Player of the Season in 2016. A cerebral and articulate figure off the pitch, Symons is a no-nonsense operator, the glue of the Quins pack.
Word from the Harlequins camp
Full-back Aaron Morris said: “I would be lying if I didn't say that I'd like dry conditions. Everyone loves to watch a game of running rugby and the wind and rain make it that little bit more difficult for everyone involved. It's a challenge that we have to embrace at the Rec on Saturday.”
10 January 2020
Bath (14) 19
Tries: Walker, Hamer-Webb, Willison Con: Burns 2
Harlequins (12) 25
Tries: Chrisholm, Ibitoye, Dombrandt Con: Herron 2 Pen: Herron 2
Bath: Watson, Hamer- Webb, Wright, Willison, Brew, Burns, Green, Boyce, Walker, Judge, Garvey, R. Davies, Ellis, Williams, Bayliss.
Replacements: De Glanville for Watson (51), Noguera for Boyce (56), Batty for Walker (53), Nixon for Judge (65), Douglas for Garvey (70), Merigan for Williams (66).
Harlequins: Morris, Goneva, Northmore, Lasike, Ibitoye, Herron, Care, Marler, Crumpton, Sinckler, Lamb, Cavubati, J. Chisholm, Robshaw, Dombrandt.
Replacements: R. Chisholm for Goneva (60), Saunders for Care (56), Garcia Botta for Marler (70), Musk for Crumpton (78), Collier for Sinckler (56), Young for Cavubati (60).
Bath Rugby welcome Bristol Bears to the Rec in a huge West Country derby on Sunday 1st March for a crucial Gallagher Premiership clash. Join in the action at the home of Bath Rugby and support the Blue, Black and White against our West Country rivals. Tickets are selling fast so make sure you secure yours to avoid disappointment. Call 01225 536 900 or click the button to book online.