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Preview: Bath Rugby v London Irish

Preview: Bath Rugby v London Irish

Bath Rugby’s home form has deserted them this season, but with London Irish holding one of the worst away records in Aviva Premiership Rugby, something has got to give this weekend.

The Exiles have won just once in any tournament in the last 12 months, beating Agen away from home in the European Challenge Cup in January.

Now fighting at the bottom of Aviva Premiership Rugby, they travel to Bath who have been consistently unable to rediscover their near title-winning form of last season.

Bath have won just one more league game than the Exiles this term, but have collected the joint-most losing bonus points and sit ten points clear of Saturday’s opponents.

And Irish prop Tom Court insists now is the time for his side to mix intense passion with control when they run out at the Rec, after ill-discipline cost them last time out against Leicester Tigers.

“Obviously we need to come out firing, the big focus has been ourselves recently and just trying to get what we’re doing right and to try and fix the parts of our game that are letting us down,” he said.

“On the weekend it was just penalties and discipline. A lot of it is in our control, so, we let that slide early on and the confidence is all a bit of a waterfall after that.

“Bath have a lot of bonus points, but they have only won one extra game than us, so there’s not that much difference with that side of things.

“We’re looking up from the bottom of the table, so we need to be trying to get as many points as possible over the next few weeks.”

London Irish have not been victorious at the Rec since winning 16-0 back in November 2009, and the record books would suggest Bath are favourites with 11 wins out of 12 encounters with the Exiles over the past seven seasons.

But with just two victories from six at home in Aviva Premiership Rugby this term, hooker Ross Batty wants to give the Bath faithful something to shout about on Saturday.

He said: “They are going to be flying on Saturday. They are going to want to come out and have a go, and it’s up to us to stop that and get on top.

“We’ve still got a lot of quality here even if there are a lot of internationals away, and it’s time to go out there and put our hands up.

“We are taking every weekend as it comes. We’ve had our reviews and it’s all about looking forward and getting back to our best.

“The good thing is we get another chance to put things right in front of our home fans, and they deserve some rewards as they’ve not had too much to cheer about this year.

“I’d love to think this is the weekend our back-line can hit top gear again. There are some quality players there, and speaking as a forward, we’ve got to get us on the front foot going forwards to give more opportunities to the backs to do their thing.”

Recreation Ground, 3.15pm

Referee: JP Doyle (107th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Kelvin Stewart & Jonathan Healy. TMO: David Grashoff.

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