RUGBY: Bath skipper Hooper joins the 200 club

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Stuart Hooper Stuart Hooper

BATH captain Stuart Hooper will make his 200th Premiership appearance tomorrow night as he leads the team against Northampton Saints at the Recreation Ground (7.45pm).

Bath can clinch a place in the end-of-season play-offs with victory over Jim Mallinder's side, who are currently in second place.

Hooper is joined in the second row by the returning Dave Attwood, as Paul James and David Wilson come back to form an all-international front row alongside hooker Rob Webber.

Carl Fearns takes the blindside shirt in place of the injured Matt Garvey, starting in the back row with openside Guy Mercer and number eight Leroy Houston.

Land Rover Discovery of the Season nominees George Ford and Anthony Watson are selected in the back line.

Ford is partnered in the half-backs with Micky Young, while Watson starts on the right wing with Matt Banahan on the left.

A young midfield of inside centre Ollie Devoto and Jonathan Joseph at 13 is bolstered by the experienced Nick Abendanon at full-back.

Bath: 15. Nick Abendanon 14. Anthony Watson 13. Jonathan Joseph 12. Ollie Devoto 11. Matt Banahan 10. George Ford 9. Micky Young 1. Paul James 2. Rob Webber 3. David Wilson 4. Stuart Hooper (c) 5. Dave Attwood 6. Carl Fearns 7. Guy Mercer 8. Leroy Houston.

Replacements: 16. Ross Batty 17. Nathan Catt 18. Anthony Perenise 19. Dominic Day 20. Alafoti Fa’osiliva 21. Peter Stringer 22. Gavin Henson 23. Horacio Agulla.

NEWS & REACTION FROM BATH'S CLASH WITH NORTHAMPTON AT WILTSHIRETIMES.CO.UK/SPORT TOMORROW NIGHT

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