Marcus Smith is set to start against the Stormers Harlequins

Marcus Smith will wear the Harlequins No 10 jersey. Photo: Getty Images.

Star-studded teams for ‘Big Summer Kick-off’ match

Both Harlequins and Bath have named their team lineups for Saturday’s Big Summer Kick-Off match at Twickenham Stadium.

Marcus Smith is set to start against the Stormers Harlequins

Marcus Smith will wear the Harlequins No 10 jersey. Photo: Getty Images.

The Gallagher Premiership fixture, dubbed the Big Summer Kick-Off by Harlequins, has all the ingredients to be a thriller with Quins needing a bonus point victory to remain in the hunt for the play-offs, while Bath travel to Twickenham following two strong wins over Gloucester and Exeter.

The Quins starting XV features just one change following last Saturday’s 48-20 win over Newcastle, with experienced prop Will Collier returning to the front-row to make his 219th club appearance.

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For Bath, head of rugby Johann van Graan has made one change to the starting XV, with Ruaridh McConnochie coming back in on the wing meaning a switch to full-back for Matt Gallagher, with Joe Cokanasgia also in the back three.

Previewing Big Summer Kick-Off, Quins flyhalf Marcus Smith said: “We have put a massive emphasis on this game in terms of the significance and importance of getting the required result. We know and we believe that if we put our best foot forward and play the game in our style, we will be tough to live with.

“Not many clubs get the chance to play at Twickenham Stadium. We are very lucky we get the privilege to play here at least twice a season and we’re excited for the occasion and the opportunity to play in front of the Quins faithful.

“In the last two games Bath have been extremely physical, they have been extremely confrontational, you look at their forwards, they have internationals across the pack who have many skills that we need to nullify. We have got to be right on our mettle in terms of our defence but in attack as well we have got to be on our roles in the breakdown. If we do that hopefully we will get good speed of ball and we can score some points.”

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Harlequins v Bath Rugby, Twickenham Stadium, 3pm (UK time)

Bath: 15 Matt Gallagher, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Max Ojomoh, 11 Ruaridh McConnochie, 10 Orlando Bailey, 9 Ben Spencer ©; 1 Beno Obano, 2 Tom Dunn, 3 Will Stuart, 4 Josh McNally, 5 GJ van Velze, 6 Ted Hill, 7 Chris Cloete, 8 Miles Reid

Replacements: 16 Niall Annett, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 D’Arcy Rae, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Richard de Carpentier, 21 Max Green, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Josh Bayliss

Harlequins: 15 Josh Bassett, 14 Louis Lynagh, 13 Joe Marchant, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Cadan Murley, 10 Marcus Smith, 9 Danny Care; 1 Joe Marler, 2 Jack Walker, 3 Will Collier, 4 Dino Lamb, 5 Irne Herbst, 6 Luke Wallace, 7 Will Evans, 8 Alex Dombrandt ©

Replacements: 16 Sam Riley, 17 Fin Baxter, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 George Hammond, 20 Jack Kenningham, 21 Lewis Gjaltema, 22 Luke Northmore, 23 Nick David.

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Key stats and facts

  • Harlequins last six matches in Gallagher Premiership Rugby have all been won by the home side on the day.
  • Harlequins are unbeaten in their last seven visits to Twickenham Stadium, since London Irish beat them there in the London Double Header in 2017.
  • Bath Rugby have won their last two matches in Gallagher Premiership Rugby and have not won three in succession in the competition since last November.
  • Bath beat Gloucester at Kingsholm last Friday evening and have not won back-to-back away games in Premiership Rugby since March 2021.
  • Bath have won on four of their last six visits to Twickenham Stadium.
  • Harlequins only defeat in their last five encounters with Bath was 17-21 at the Recreation Ground in January 2022.
  • The two sides have met only once before at Twickenham Stadium, the final of the 1992 Pilkington Cup which was won by Bath 15-12 after extra time.

Referee: Karl Dickson (75th Premiership game).

Assistant Referees: Matthew Carley and Sara Cox. TMO: Rowan Kitt.

Citing Officer: Danae Zamboulis

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