RUGBY: Mercer in as Abendanon and Catt hit Bath landmarks

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Nick Abendanon will make his 200th appearance for Bath tomorrow night Nick Abendanon will make his 200th appearance for Bath tomorrow night

FLANKER Guy Mercer steps into the pack in the only change to Bath’s line-up for the Aviva Premiership clash with Sale Sharks tomorrow night (7.45pm), as full-back Nick Abendanon and prop Nathan Catt prepare to celebrate landmark games.

Mercer came off the bench in last weekend’s 43-24 success at London Irish following an ankle injury to South Affica international Francois Louw.

The rest of the line-up remains unchanged as Abendanon reaches the 200 appearance mark for the club. Abendanon starts alongside Anthony Watson and Semesa Rokoduguni in the back three, while Kyle Eastmond and Ollie Devoto continue their midfield combination, as do George Ford and Peter Stringer in the half-backs.

Catt will reach the 100 milestone if and when he steps off the bench, while Matt Garvey and Leroy Houston continue on the blindside and at number eight respectively.

Stuart Hooper captains the side from the second row, where he is partnered by Dave Attwood, and internationals Paul James and David Wilson prop down either side of Ross Batty.

Two changes on the bench see prop Anthony Perenise and back row Carl Fearns come in.

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Anthony Watson, 13 Ollie Devoto, 12 Kyle Eastmondm, 11 Semesa Rokoduguni, 10 George Ford, 9 Peter Stringer, 1 Paul James, 2 Ross Batty, 3 David Wilson, 4 Stuart Hooper (captain), 5 Dave Attwood, 6 Matt Garvey, 7 Guy Mercer, 8 Leroy Houston.

Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Dominic Day, 20 Carl Fearns, 21 Micky Young, 22 Gavin Henson, 23 Horacio Agulla.

NEWS AND REACTION FROM BATH V SALE SHARKS AT WILTSHRIETIMES.CO.UK/SPORT TONIGHT

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