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Bath Vs Saracens: Six Players To Watch Out For

After both sides enjoyed opening round wins, Bath host European champions Saracens on Saturday afternoon at the Rec in what should be a cracking game.

Bath impressed in a gutsy 27-23 win away to Leicester last weekend, registering their first win at Welford Road since 2011, while Saracens, inspired by the outstanding Schalk Brits, ran in nine tries to demolish Northampton 55-24.

Here are six stars to watch out for this afternoon.


6. Taulupe Faletau (Bath)

After enjoying a fine Lions series, the Welsh No. 8 returned to domestic duties with a bang last weekend, putting in a Man of the Match performance.

Mr Consistency, the athletic 26-year-old never seems to have a bad game. A relentless ball carrier and non-stop tackler with great ball skills and a sharp rugby brain, the former Newport Dragons back-rower is one of the best No. 8s in the world.


5. Schalk Brits (Saracens)

The evergreen South African hooker was simply outstanding last weekend against Northampton and at 36 years old he continues to defy father time with his consistently excellent performances.

Exceptionally quick, with the hands and vision of a back while solid in the scrum and extremely accurate at the lineout, the former Stormers man is a tremendous player. Having only won ten international caps, Brits can consider himself extremely unlucky.


4. Anthony Watson (Bath)

Watson enjoyed a fine Lions series, looking dangerous with ball in hand and solid in defence. Still only 23 years old, the versatile speedster is equally adept at 15 as he is on the wing.

A prolific try-scorer, having notched up 13 tries in only 26 appearances for England, Watson has tremendous speed, a great side-step and an excellent kicking game. Reliable in defence and constantly asking questions of opposition defences, Watson is a top quality operator.


3. Maro Itoje (Saracens)

What more can be said about the 21-year-old? One of the standout players on the recent Lions tour, Camden-born Itoje alongside the All Blacks’ Brodie Retallick is the best second row in the world.

Excellent in the lineout, highly-effective at the breakdown and a tremendous ball carrier with great hands and a non-stop engine, the European Player of the Year is a phenomenal talent.

With a grand slam, two Premiership titles, two European titles and a drawn Lions series already under his belt, Itoje is destined for greatness.


2. Max Clark (Bath)

The Welsh-born centre was excellent last weekend, scoring two tries in a fantastic individual display. A former England U-16, U-18 and U-20 star, the 21-year-old is an exciting talent who will be looking to gain as many starts as he can in the 12 shirt this year.

Powerful and quick with good distribution skills and fast feet, Clark enjoyed a breakthrough season at the West country club last term, making twelve appearances for them.

His obvious potential led to an invite from Welsh assistant Robin McBryde for Wales’ summer tour, which saw them play Tonga and Samoa. Clark, who has a Welsh mother and English father and grew up in England, turned down the invite.

However, he revealed last week that he has not ruled out the prospect of turning out for Wales.


1. Alex Lozowski (Saracens)

The 24-year-old fly-half who can also play at 12, enjoyed a fine first campaign with Saracens last season, tasting European glory with his new club.

He also made his international debut in England’s summer series away to Argentina in which he impressed in both Tests, as England earned a superb two-nil series win.

With the ability to break the line and make excellent decisions in attack, the former Wasps man is a real threat to opposition defences.

Lozowski is also an accomplished distributor with a decent defence and good kicking game. Expect him to enjoy another stellar season.

Hefin Jones, Pundit Arena

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Author: The PA Team

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