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Bath Rugby's AVIVA Premiership clash with Harlequins beats the weather

By thisisbathnew  |  Posted: November 23, 2012

Stuart Hooper

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Bath Rugby's game against Harlequins will go ahead tonight, the club pledged today.Despite the torrential rain which has brought widespread flooding to the area, the AVIVA Premiership clash will kick off as scheduled at 7.45pm.The club said the pitch has drained well and is perfectly playable.Club captain Stuart Hooper returns to the starting line-up, joining Dave Attwood in the second row.Another player returning is Josh Ovens, who makes his first Premiership start of the season in the back row.Semesa Rokoduguni will also be making his premiership debut, partnering Matt Banahan in midfield.Scrum-half Michael Claassens, who made his 150th appearance for Bath Rugby last week, renews his half-back partnership with Stephen Donald.Kyle Eastmond returns to the team on the right wing.The face injury suffered by Dan Hipkiss in the LV= Cup win over Dragons two weeks ago has been confirmed as a fractured cheekbone.

Bath won half of their opening eight Premiership matches and now face a daunting run of league games up to the end of 2012. Following Quins at home, they will play Leicester at Welford Road, Saracens at The Rec, and then travel to Exeter.

With 244 points, Quins are by some distance the league's most free-scoring side, although Bath prevented them from crossing the tryline in Friday's clash in London.

That match will give Bath an inkling of what to expect tomorrow, but Ford believes there will be some bluffing and second-guessing taking place.

"Of course you can learn lessons from every game, but did they keep something back last Friday?" said first-team coach MikeFord. "We've got to double-guess their coaching team a bit.

"There will be greater intensity about this Friday's match because it's a Premiership game – there is more at stake.

"Quins may have some players away with England but they have still got a host of international stars. They could have Ugo Monye back and they have Nick Evans and Jordan Turner-Hall."

Meanwhile, Bath are continuing to run the rule over Rugby League player Luke Adamson, who remains on loan from Salford Reds.

Ford, himself a former international in the 13-man code, said: "Luke is prepared to keep fighting in training and is very professional. He is not just another body – he is applying pressure.

"For the moment, we will keep on monitoring him. We are constantly talking to him. We will see what unfolds over the next few weeks. If he hangs in there you don't know what might happen."

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