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Rugby News

Preview | Tigers and Bath renew their rivalry

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Two of the Gallagher Premiership’s form teams clash at The Recreation Ground on Sunday as Bath Rugby host Leicester Tigers.

Bath have lost just twice in their last nine games in all competitions while Tigers have won five of their last six. Both have also progressed to the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup as the Premiership’s last representatives in the European club competitions.

The teams are separated by one place and one point in the table before kick-off with Tigers moving up to seven on 37 points after a home win over Newcastle Falcons in Round 15 before the two-week adventure in Europe.

Tigers kicked off 2021 with a victory over Bath at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, but had to come back from 14 points down to win 36-31 with tries from Freddie Steward, Cameron Henderson and Harry Wells plus 21 points from fly-half George Ford.

Steve Borthwick’s men would require a first win at The Rec since March 2011 if they are to secure a Premiership double over their old rivals for the first time in a decade.

The club have met more than 200 times, with Bath marking the double century with a 38-16 victory on their trip to Leicester after the summer restart last season.

Overall the clubs have met on 201 occasions with Leicester winning 116 to 72 by Bath and 13 games drawn. The Tigers record at The Rec is won 39, lost 53, drawn 10.

Ex-Bath captain Borthwick recalls Ellis Genge, Dan Cole and Ben Youngs to the Tigers starting line-up, and Ford is brought in at fly-half against his former club. Calum Green and Dan Kelly are also added to the team since the European win last weekend.

Stuart Hooper has made three changes to the Bath line-up after their Challenge Cup quarter-final victory over London Irish, with Josh Matavesi back from injury at fly-half and Will Muir named on the wing, while England flanker Sam Underhill joins Taulupe Faletau and Zach Mercer in the back row.

Former Leicester forward Mike Williams is named among the replacements for a Bath team beaten by only Exeter Chiefs and London Irish in their recent run of form.

Tigers will wear the club’s green, white and red colours at The Rec.

Referee is Luke Pearce, fresh from a European Cup quarter-final last weekend and in charge for a 111th time in the Gallagher Premiership. He is assisted by Simon Harding and Jonathan Healy.

There is live coverage on BT Sport 1HD.

Or follow all of the action with the Matchday Live service on the Tigers website and app, with updates on social media throughout the day and a full package of reaction after the final whistle.