Bath ring changes for title decider

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The Independent Online
Mike Catt may be England's full-back and their stand-by stand- off in the World Cup in South Africa, but Bath now prefer him at centre, writes Steve Bale. With Jeremy Guscott away making a television programme, Richard Butland stays at outside-half for Saturday's First Division decider at Leicester.

Catt has made a less conspicuous success of filling the gap left at Bath by Stuart Barnes's retirement than he has of his developing international career, and Butland's contribution to the thrashing of West Hartlepool warrants his retention.

In the back row, Steve Ojomoh faces Neil Back on the open side; Bath's presumption being that Ojomoh's power will be of more use than the speed and creativity Andy Robinson brilliantly showed against West, despite his persistent groin injury.

England requirements dictate that this will be the last league appearance of the season for Phil de Glanville and Victor Ubogu, who is switching to loose-head prop to accommodate John Mallett among the five changes of personnel from last Saturday's Bath team.

The Bath coach, Brian Ashton, has stepped down as a housemaster at King's School Bruton in Somerset, so as to make the demands on him as a teacher and coach less incompatible. Ashton dismissed reports that he would become Bath's full-time coaching director if such a post were created. "I can't think of anything more boring," he said.

The 6ft 10in Wales lock, Derwyn Jones, who injured an ankle last Saturday, looks as if he will be fit for the World Cup. A scan has revealed that not only was there no breakage, but there was also far less general damage than at first feared, and he may even be fit in a fortnight.

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