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LV= Cup Preview: Harlequins v Bath Rugby

Both starting line-ups will be much-changed this weekend but Harlequins prop Mark Lambert insists he and his teammates are desperate to prove their mettle in their LV= Cup clash with Bath Rugby.

Quins welcome the West County outfit to the Stoop for the clash and Lambert and co will be desperate to get claim victory in the battle to top Pool 4.

The London side lost in the opening round to Saracens but bounced back with a win over the Newport Gwent Dragons to keep up the heat on defending champions Exeter Chiefs.

And while Bath are without a number of stars on England duty, so too are Quins and Lambert admits he and his teammates will need to be at their best to continue their chase for the knockout stages.

“Bath are playing fantastically well at the moment and they have a fantastic squad so we know what a tough test it will be,” he said.

“We are trying to catch the Exeter Chiefs but we have to focus on our own performances if we want to get into the semi-finals.

“We will prepare to play Bath as if it was their first team. They will be missing a few players but we are confident that we can bring out our best.”

Meanwhile for Bath the battle is to get back to winning ways after defeat last time out against Exeter that knocked them off course in Pool 1.

Sarries are the top dogs in that group and while England and the Saxons have deprived the Rec outfit of a host of first-team stars, flanker Guy Mercer is itching to show what he can do in their absence.

"I'm really looking forward to the game, I've been playing in the second team for a couple of weeks and it's nice to get back into it – the knee's been absolutely fine in that time," said Mercer, who has been out of action since October.

“That performance (against Exeter) was tough but I think the boys have been on a roll since then, they've been class over the last few weeks.

"It's always interesting to see what squads are put out in the LV= Cup but the bottom line is both teams are looking to win, no one wants to be beaten in front of their home fans.

"The Stoop's a great place to play and we’ve got work to do as we lost our last game in the competition – we have got to step up to the plate and make sure we deliver."

Tickets for this year's LV= Cup Final on 22 March at Franklin's Gardens are now on sale. Click here to snap one up from just £20 for adults, £10 for juniors to see who will win the first silverware of the season.

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