Bath head coach Gary Gold wary of London Irish threat

12:02 22 September 2012

Francois Louw, South Africa. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire

Francois Louw, South Africa. Picture: David Davies/PA Wire

PA Archive/Press Association Images

Bath head coach Gary Gold is under no misconceptions of the threat London Irish pose for his side.

The Exiles have been beaten in every game this season and will be looking to pick up their first win at the Madejski Stadium this afternoon.

“We know that Irish are a very good side, who will obviously be looking to get off the mark, which actually makes them more of a potent threat for us,” Gold said.

“They have an unpredictability we will have to react to, and it will require us to be on top of our game in all areas to do that.”

Francois Louw returns to the Bath Rugby starting line-up for the game.

Carl Fearns shifts to the blindside and Simon Taylor moves to Number 8. Ben Skirving is named on the bench.

There are also changes in the front row. Nathan Catt starts at loosehead and Anthony Perenise comes in on the other side of the scrum for David Wilson who picked up a knock in training. Lee Mears at hooker, and Stuart Hooper and Dominic Day in the engine room complete the pack.

The backs are unchanged from last week. Michael Claassens once more combines with Olly Barkley in the half-backs as Tom Biggs and Kyle Eastmond line-up on the wings. Ben Williams and Dan Hipkiss continue in the centres and Nick Abendanon is named at fullback.

There is also a notable return to the bench for Stephen Donald, who will make his first appearance of the season if called upon.

Bath:

15. Nick Abendanon

14. Kyle Eastmond

13. Dan Hipkiss

12. Ben Williams

11. Tom Biggs

10. Olly Barkley

9. Michael Claassens

1. Nathan Catt

2. Lee Mears

3. Anthony Perenise

4. Stuart Hooper (c)

5. Dominic Day

6. Carl Fearns

7. Francois Louw

8. Simon Taylor

Replacements

16. Ross Batty

17. Paul James

18. Kane Palma-Newport

19. Dave Attwood

20. Ben Skirving

21. Mark McMillan

22. Stephen Donald

23. Jack Cuthbert

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