Match Preview: Bath Rugby v Gloucester Rugby

Match Preview: Bath Rugby v Gloucester Rugby

Will Muir gets his 50th Bath Rugby appearance after becoming a regular feature on the left wing since returning from injury at the start of the season.

Bath host Gloucester Rugby in their first match of 2024, with Beno Obano and Tom Dunn restored to the front row and Ben Spencer and Finn Russell at half-back.

For Gloucester, Argentina international, Mayco Vivas, made his return from injury from the bench against Harlequins at Twickenham last week, he's given the start in the derby alongside George McGuigan and Fraser Balmain in the front row.

The rest of the pack remains the same, with Freddie Clarke and Matias Alemanno continuing their partnership in the second row and Ruan Ackermann, Zach Mercer and captain Lewis Ludlow in the back row.

Caolan Englefield makes his first Gallagher Premiership start for the Cherry & Whites alongside Adam Hastings in the half-backs, with Seb Atkinson and Chris Harris lining up in the centre.

Jonny May replaces Louis Rees-Zammit on the wing after a try scoring cameo against Quins. May is joined by Ollie Thorley and Santi Carreras in the back three.

TV: Live on TNT Sports, kick-off 3pm

Referee: Christophe Ridley

Assistant Referees: Dan Jones and Gareth Holsgrove

TMO: Rowan Kitt

Bath Rugby: 1 Beno Obano, 2 Tom Dunn, 3 Will Stuart, 4 Elliott Stooke, 5 Charlie Ewels, 6 GJ van Velze, 7 Miles Reid, 8 Jaco Coetzee, 9 Ben Spencer ©, 10 Finn Russell, 11 Will Muir (50), 12 Cameron Redpath, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 15 Tom de Glanville

Replacements: 16 Niall Annett, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Archie Griffin, 19 Quinn Roux, 20 Alfie Barbeary, 21 Tom Carr-Smith, 22 Sam Harris, 23 Sam Underhill

Gloucester Rugby: 15. Santi Carreras, 14. Jonny May*, 13. Chris Harris, 12. Seb Atkinson*, 11. Ollie Thorley*, 10. Adam Hastings, 9. Caolan Englefield, 1. Mayco Vivas, 2. George McGuigan, 3. Fraser Blamain, 4. Freddie Clarke*, 5. Matias Alemanno, 6. Ruan Ackermann, 7. Lewis Ludlow* (C), 8. Zach Mercer

Replacements: 16. Seb Blake*, 17. Jamal Ford-Robsinon, 18. Kirill Gotovtsev, 19. Cam Jordan*, 20. Jack Clement*, 21. Stephen Varney*, 22. Max Llewellyn, 23. Louis Rees-Zammit*

Oval Insights

Bath Rugby

  • Jaco Coetzee made more dominant carries than any other player in Round 10 (eight). 22% of his carries this season have been dominant.
  • Bath have made an average of 3.75 metres per carry so far this season – more than any other team.
  • 25.3% of Bath’s possessions this season have ended with a kick – the second-most in the Premiership. They have made the fewest carries in the league, an average of 100 per 80 minutes.
  • Bath have retained an average of 4.8 kicks per 80 minutes this season – more than any other team. 14 of Ben Spencer’s and 13 of Finn Russell’s kicks have been retained.

Gloucester Rugby

  • Zach Mercer made more carries than any other player in Round 10, a total of 20. He also beat seven defenders – as many as any other forward.
  • Ollie Thorley has made a league-high total of 160 post-contact metres so far this season. Teammate Jack Clement has also made 132 – the fifth-most in the Premiership.
  • Gloucester kick the least in the Premiership. They have made a league-low average of 28.4 kicks in play and 837 kicking metres per 80 minutes.
  • Gloucester have the highest rate of carry dominance in the Premiership (28.7%).

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