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Tuesday, 11 December, 2018

Jamie Gibson can touch down against Bath

Northampton flanker is dangerous

Northampton's Ben Nutley powers forward against Sale
1 of 1

Bath v Northampton
BT Sport 1, 7.45pm Friday
Edinburgh v Leinster
BBC Alba & TG4, 7.35pm Friday

Bath are fifth in the table and still in the thick of the race for a playoff place but it is hard not to see this Premiership clash with Northampton at the Rec as a dress rehearsal for next month's Anglo-Welsh Cup semi-final at the same venue.

Both teams are missing their Six Nations stars, have various other injuries and cannot be trusted to perform in a manner that reflects the calibre of the clubs and the nature of their recent league battles.

Bath have lost at home to Scarlets in the Champions Cup and Wasps in the Premiership in the last six weeks.

Saints have suffered multiple horrendous away days this campaign including a 62-21 stuffing at Saracens and 50-21 hammering at Harlequins since the start of the year. However, they slammed Bath in the forwards at Franklin's Gardens in September and last season's 32-30 loss at the Rec was a first defeat in six visits.     

Northampton flanker Jamie Gibson scored a try that night and looks value to cross the whitewash again.

Gibson was visible in the loose in last Friday's pleasing Anglo-Welsh win over Quins at the Gardens and has scored tries in away defeats at Gloucester and Worcester this campaign.  

Edinburgh look worth a wager with a six-point start when they welcome Conference B rivals Leinster at Myreside in the Pro14.

The hosts, who ended Glasgow's perfect league record at Murrayfield over Christmas, have since enjoyed a home stroll over the hapless Southern Kings and booked their berth in the Challenge Cup quarter-finals.

Second-placed Leinster's back-up boys are never really a reserve side but the whole club have been involved in plenty of intense contests and their fluency may be more disrupted by Six Nations absences than their hosts, who have closed on Ulster in recent weeks for the third playoff spot.

Also on TV are Dragons against Glasgow (BBC2 Wales, 7.35pm) and Ulster versus the Kings (BBC2 NI, 7.35pm) while, as well as screening the Myreside match, TG4 are live-streaming on YouTube the Connacht-Ospreys clash (7.35pm). Connacht and Ulster give up 11 and 31 points whereas the Dragons get three points.

Wales are 4-1 to beat England in their U20 Six Nations battle at Kingston Park, Newcastle (Sky Sports Action/Mix, 7.45pm).   

J Gibson to score a try in Bath v Northampton
1pt 6-1 BoyleSports, Hills
Edinburgh +6
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Saints have suffered multiple horrendous away days this campaign including a 62-21 stuffing at Saracens and 50-21 hammering at Harlequins
E.W. Terms
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