Friday, 22nd October 2021 @ 12:00
Form guide, key stats and head-to-heads ahead of our match with Bath
Harlequins v Bath Rugby
15:00, Saturday 23 October
Follow on Harlequins Live
Harlequins are back at a sold out Stoop on Saturday with Bath Rugby in town to take on the Premiership Champions.
The Club's perfect start to the season was ended last weekend against Sale Sharks, but a welcome return to the Stoop should result in a happier outcome.
Harlequins won both of their Premiership fixtures against Bath last season, the first time they'd done the 'double' over Bath in a league campaign since 2015/16. However, Bath have been successful in two of their last three visits to the Stoop.
How are we lining up?
Last five Premiership matches
Harlequins claimed a hat-trick of victories to kick-off their title defence before a round five loss to Sale Sharks.
The 28-22 defeat at the AJ Bell Stadium means Harlequins head into round six of the 2021/22 season in second place in the table, claiming 16 out of a possible 20 league points. Wins over Worcester Warriors and Bristol Bears in rounds three and four mean that Quins still have an unbeaten record at home this season.
Bath head to The Stoop off the back of four straight losses in the Premiership, the latest of which was their heaviest home defeat in Premiership Rugby. Stuart Hooper's charges went down 17-71 to Saracens in a game where they shipped 10 tries.
Prior to that Bath has collected a losing bonus point in all three of their other league games this season against Sale Sharks, Newcastle Falcons, and Bristol Bears.
Last time we met
It was a thriller!
The last time we faced off against the men in Black and Blue coincided with the return of fans to the Stoop for the first time in nine months, and the home side did not disappoint!
Quins came out on top in the 10-try thriller through tries from Jack Kenningham, Danny Care, Joe Marchant, Luke Northmore, Stephan Lewies, and Martin Landajo.
3 – Andre Esterhuizen has claimed three turnovers in Harlequins opening four games of the season – he is the only backline player to have claimed more than two turnovers.
3.2 – Quins average the most points per 22 entry (3.2) this campaign. Harlequins have come away with points from 49% of their 22 entries in the Premiership this season, the second-best rate behind Bath Rugby (50%).
5 – Harlequins are the top try scorers in the Premiership this season with 20 tries in four games, averaging exactly five tries per game – no other team has averaged 4+ tries.
7 – Harlequins have won 7 of their last 10 home fixtures against Bath Rugby in the Premiership.
10 – Harlequins are currently on their longest winning streak at home in Premiership Rugby history, having won 10 games on the trot since a 27-all draw against London Irish in January this year. Quins have also accumulated a try bonus point in nine of those 10 victories.
450 – Tyrone Green has gained 450 running metres this campaign; only Charles Piutau (514) has gained more, with the Bristol back also playing one game more than the Harlequin. Green has also beaten a joint-high of 18 defenders in the league, a tally he shares with Piutau.
What we said
"We've got to make a point this week against Bath to get some things right that we didn't against Sale."
What they said
"This week, we need to be a little more ruthless with each other, have conversations, and fine-tune where things went wrong. We can't sugarcoat anything; we have to look at each other, how we lead as a group and how the squad operate in the week."
Who is in charge?
Referee: Luke Pearce (117th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Jack Makepeace & Wayne Falla.
TMO: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Citing Officer: Danae Zamboulis
Marcus Smith v Danny Cipriani
Two incredibly talented playmakers go toe-to-toe on Saturday afternoon, with Marcus Smith battling Danny Cipriani in the opposing 10 jersey.
Smith heads into the clash off the back of his England call-up and has put two in solid performances on his return from Lions' duty.
Cipriani heads to the Stoop off the back of a disappointing home debut against Saracens, but the experienced campaigner will look to quickly put that performance behind him. Although Bath could not crack the Sarries defence while he was on the pitch, Cipriani showed flashes of his brilliance with some clever kicks and a lovely pass to send Sam Underhill charging through a gap.
Joe Marler v Will Stuart
Two England internationals face off in the front row, with Joe Marler taking on Will Stuart. Both players have been included in Eddie Jones' England squad and see Saturday's encounter as an opportunity to build their case for a starting jersey during the Autumn Nations Series.
Marler has been rock solid for Quins in the scrums this season while working tirelessly around the park both on attack and defence.
Stuart has been just as impressive for Bath despite their slow start to the season. The tighthead has proven to be a tricky customer for loosehead props, but he is also impressed with his carries. In the loss against Saracens, Stuart managed to beat two defenders from his three carries.
Joe Marchant v Jonathan Joseph
Joe Marchant returns to the centres this week following an appearance on the wing against Sale Sharks. Following his late call-up to the England squad, Marchant will look to impress against the experienced Jonathan Joseph.
Despite the heavy defeat at the hands of Saracens last week, Joseph had moments where he threatened Saracens' defence. Joseph made 72 running metres from his seven carries and managed to beat four defenders. Only Anthony Watson beat more defenders for Bath last week (seven) while Joseph made the most running metres for the Club.
Marchant was equally elusive for Quins against Sale, although he did feature on the wing, managing to beat five defenders making 30 running metres and a clean break.
Tom Lawday v Sam Underhill
Tom Lawday takes in the seven shirt from Jack Kenningham and faces a tough tussle with England international Sam Underhill.
Underhill was another standout against Saracens last week despite the heavy defeat. The powerful back-rower has made four dominant tackles in the league so far, the joint highest tally in the competition. The 25-year-old is a real threat with the ball in hand and is excellent at the breakdown.
Lawday returns to the starting XV, having come off the bench last week and started the three games prior. The powerful and versatile back-rower has been brilliantly consistent for the Club so far this season. His strong ball carrying and hard-hitting defence has been a crucial asset for the Quarters. The 27-year-old has made 30 tackles in his four games this season, averaging a tackle every 7.3 minutes while missing just one tackle.
In the news this week
Harlequins' trio Alex Dombrandt, Joe Marler, and Marcus Smith were named in England's squad ahead of the Autumn Nations Series next month. Joe Marchant was also called into the squad following an injury to Bath Rugby's Anthony Watson.
Harlequins' back Huw Jones was named in Scotland's squad for the Autumn Nations Series next month, with Scotland set to take on Tonga, Australia, South Africa, and Japan.
Back to the Premiership and Tyrone Green's stunner against Sale Sharks has been nominated for the Try of the Week for round five. While Green and fellow countryman Andre Esterhuizen were both included in the Fan's XV from round five!
Win tickets to Big Game 13 and meet Pete Tong!