Fragile Catt breaks down again as Bath prepare for Béziers

For a shade under two hours all seemed rosy at Bath. At 11am Mike Catt looked to have come through a demanding fitness test on his troublesome calf and was named in the line-up for the first time since the end of November.

Then, around lunchtime, the Catt comeback was called off after the England player suffered a twinge in the calf late in the final training session and was forced out of Bath's crucial Parker Pen Challenge Cup quarter-final, second leg. While the head coach, John Connolly, said he was hopeful Catt would be fit in time for the Premiership game against Wasps at the Rec on 7 February, there have to be doubts that the player will ever be able to regain full fitness. It is either his calf or his hamstring which lets him down.

"It has been touch and go with Mike all week," explained a disappointed Connolly yesterday, "and he failed a fitness test on his calf in our final training run late this morning. It is disappointing for Mike, but we are hopeful that he will be fit for next weekend's Zurich Premiership game against London Wasps." Catt's withdrawal means that Olly Barkley retains the No 10 jersey, while Kevin Maggs moves to inside centre. The Ireland international's place on the bench is taken by Hentie Martens.

Bath have not lost at home in any competition this season and the run stretches back to March last year. That record does not make Béziers' five-point advantage look all that great, and Connolly said as much. "We know what we have to do and are confident that we can make the semi-finals."

The same could be said of Harlequins who were allowed to build a 33-point cushion against Brive last week. However intimidating the atmosphere will be down there, Brive have left themselves far too much to do to make up the deficit.

The same sadly can also be said about Saracens who entertain Montferrand. The French club, captained by the international Olivier Magné, have a solid 16-point start. Even the return of the England flanker Richard Hill and centre Kevin Sorrell may not be enough to help Rod Kafer's men turn things around.

"Kevin has been working very hard during his rehab and has got himself back into good shape, which is good news for the squad as it adds more competition to the midfield," said Kafer.

"With Richard and Kevin slotting back into the starting line up after impressing during training this week, we've decided to stick with Ben Skirving at blindside as he has put in a lot of hard work recently in that position." Kyran Bracken starts the match with the Canada scrum-half Morgan Williams dropping to the bench.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
On set of the Secret Cinema's Back to the Future event
filmBut why were Back to the Future screenings cancelled?
News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Lewis Hamilton walks back to the pit lane with his Mercedes burning in the background
Formula 1
Arts and Entertainment
The new characters were announced yesterday at San Diego Comic Con
comic-con 2014
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Arts and Entertainment
No Devotion's Geoff Rickly and Stuart Richardson
musicReview: No Devotion, O2 Academy Islington, London
News
i100
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on
Edinburgh Fringe 2014: The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

The comedy highlights, from Bridget Christie to Jack Dee
Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride