Rob Webber to captain Bath Rugby at Northampton Saints
England hooker Rob Webber will captain Bath Rugby for the first time when they face Northampton Saints on at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday (3pm).
Webber, sidelined by injury for the first half of the season, has quickly established himself in the Bath team with performances full of aggression in the loose and accuracy in the tight. He will be joined in the front row by Charlie Beech and Anthony Perenise, while the powerful lock partnership of Dominic Day and Dave Attwood is set to continue as Stuart Hooper nurses a sore neck and Ryan Caldwell recovers from a hip operation.
With Francois Louw also out of action, Mat Gilbert slots into the back row alongside Carl Fearns and number eight Ben Skirving.
Tom Heathcote, who has spent the week training with Scotland, comes into the fly-half berth in place of the injured Stephen Donald and partners the experienced Peter Stringer in the half-backs.
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The back-line is unchanged from the one that helped beat London Irish at The Rec last weekend, with in-form Kyle Eastmond continuing at inside centre.
Tickets remain available for tomorrow's game, which is not being televised live, with prices starting at £28 for adults and £18 for juniors and concessions. Call 01604 581000 to book.
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS: 15 Ben Foden, 14 James Wilson, 13 George Pisi, 12 Tom May, 11 Jamie Elliott, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 1 Soane Tonga'uiha, 2 Mike Haywood, 3 Tom Mercey, 4 Samu Manoa, 5 Mark Sorenson, 6 Phil Dowson (capt), 7 Ben Nutley, 8 GJ Van Velze. Replacements: 16 Ross Mcmillan, 17 Alex Waller, 18 Paul Doran Jones, 19 James Craig, 20 Rhys Oakley, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Dom Waldouck.
BATH RUGBY: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Matt Banahan, 12 Kyle Eastmond, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Peter Stringer, 1 Charlie Beech, 2 Rob Webber (capt), 3 Anthony Perenise, 4 Dominic Day, 5 Dave Attwood, 6 Carl Fearns, 7 Mat Gilbert, 8 Ben Skirving. Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Kane Palma-Newport, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Nick Koster, 21 Michael Claassens, 22 Sam Vesty, 23 Semesa Rokoduguni.