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Premiership Rugby

Leicester Tigers name side for Bath

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

Tigers director of rugby Dean Richards has named his team for Saturday's Zurich Premiership trip to Bath (kick-off 2.15pm), as he hopes to break a run of four straight losses.

Having lost their last few matches despite a promising start to the season, Richards said of the recent slump: "We're not playing up to the standards we've set ourselves.

"At this moment in time we're just not performing but, having said that, there are a lot of positives to come out of it. We've looked at the videos again and again, and we just have to focus on those positives. The youngsters are having a go every game and are playing well. It's the more experienced guys who aren't producing the goods."

With eight of his squad away on world cup duty and injuries hampering some of his other options, Richards has dabbled in the transfer market this week with the loan acquisition of former Scotland lock Stewart Campbell from Leeds Tykes.

Campbell is thrown straight into action this week, with Richards saying of his depleted numbers: "It's a tough time for us, but we always envisaged that. We're just disappointed that we've lost four on the trot, and that's the most galling thing. Now we plan to break that sequence and get back to winning ways.

"There are bits and pieces that we're doing on the training ground, and it's also a bit of a mental thing. There's no substitute for hard work, but we've been putting the work in, and sometimes things just don't go your way.

"As someone I know says, when you're down on the floor, instead of helping you up some people will give you a good kicking."

Tigers come up against a Bath side who suffered only their first defeat of the season last week at Newcastle, and Richards said of this weekend's opponents: "There's no doubt about it, Bath are a pretty good side. They score a lot of their tries through putting pressure on the opposition and play very much a territorial game, waiting for teams to make mistakes.

"I'm not surprised they're at the top of the table. If you look at the guys who've gone to the world cup then some teams are severely depleted, like ourselves losing so many players in the pack, but if you look at the Bath forwards they've only really lost Danny Grewcock and everyone else has remained. From that point of view, that's where their strength lies, and they've been dominating teams upfront.

"When other teams get their world cup players back and start to get some parity and dominance, then you may see a bit of a change."

Saturday's game will see Bath's biggest ever crowd of the professional era after improvements on their stadium, with Richards saying of the famous venue: "The Rec has always held a lot of emotion for a number of players. I remember what it was like as a player when Bath were always the dominant side and Leicester were the bridesmaids, but we've always had a pretty good record down there.

"It's slightly different this time, as they're playing very well, but it doesn't hold any fear for us – we'll go down there and give it our all. They've improved their ground and, in fairness, they needed to. I'm sure it will be a great atmosphere."

Tigers team to face Bath:

15 Steve Booth14 Austin Healey13 Ollie Smith12 Daryl Gibson11 John Holtby10 Ramiro Pez9 Harry Ellis

1 Graham Rowntree2 George Chuter3 Darren Morris4 Stewart Campbell5 Louis Deacon6 Will Skinner7 Josh Kronfeld ©8 Will Johnson

Replacements:

16 Jim Richards17 Ricky Nebbett18 Adam Balding19 Brett Deacon20 Sam Vesty21 Dan Hipkiss22 Freddie Tuilagi

ENDS

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