Bath Rugby

Llanelli Scarlets

Rugby U


Evening all. European Champions Cup rugby is back with (hopefully) a cracker.

With just two matches to go, the result of this one will go a long way towards deciding who advances to the next round. Currently Bath top the pool, but are level on points with Toulon and just one point ahead of tonight's opponents. All to play for, then.

The last time these two sides played was back in October, Bath winning by five points, 18-13. That's the sides only meeting since 2002, so not much to go on, really. Scarlets are looking to win consecutive away games in the competition for the first time since 2006/7, while Bath are the lowest try scorers in the competition so far.

Both teams have internationals returning to their starting lineups, although Leigh Halfpenny was a late withdrawal for Scarlets with a chest injury. Sam Underhill, Matt Banahan and Luke Charteris return for Bath, while Scarlets welcome back Wales backs Gareth Davies and Scott Williams. Full teams follow...

Bath: Watson; Banahan, Joseph, Tapuai, A Brew; Priestland, Cook; Obano, Dunn, Thomas; Stooke, Charteris, Garvey (capt), Underhill, Mercer. Replacements: Van Vuuren, Noguera, Lahiff, Phillips, Grant, Fotuali'i, Burns, Wilson.

Scarlets: Patchell; Asquith, Parkes, Williams, Prydie; D Jones, G Davies; Evans, Owens (capt), Lee, Beirne, Bulbring, Shingler, J Davies, Barclay Replacements: Elias, W Jones, Kruger, Rawlins, Macleod, ADavies, Hughes, Boyde

It's not a team from Wales unless you've got multiple players called Jones and Davies, really, is it? Remember when Wales had names on the back of their shirts? Never really seemed wise from a team featuring two "A Jones"s, but there we go. (Bonus point for the first person to work out which two. Not that it's the most obscure piece of trivia, I grant you...)

The last match I wrote about here was Scotland's merciless destruction of Australia in the Autumn. I don't really have a horse in this particular race, but if it's half as entertaining as that one, I'll be happy. Who's your money on?

We're about to get started, teams on their way out. Eddie Jones is here to cast his eye over a few players. He's wrapped up warm in a colossal coat. Can't imagine it ever gets much colder in Australia than it is in Bath tonight, to be fair. He's got his classic cheeky smile on, obviously.

Jerome Garces is tonight's referee, and we're underway.