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Summary

  1. Houston, Joseph, Banahan & Rokoduguni cross for Bath
  2. Burgess, starting at flanker, scores the bonus-point try
  3. Court & Cowan touch down for London Irish
  4. Victory moves Bath up to second in the Premiership table

Live Reporting

By Phil Shepka

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Post update

    Bath 43-18 London Irish

    Bath celebrations

    So where does that leave us then? Well for a start London Irish's barren run at The Rec continues, where they haven't won since November 2009, as the Exiles stay in 10th place.

    But for Bath, they are now in prime position for a home semi-final, five points clear of third-placed Saracens who take on leaders Northampton tomorrow. That should be quite a tasty game, shouldn't it?

    On Sunday, sixth-placed Wasps host fourth-placed Exeter as things hot up at the top of the table.

    Remember you can listen to your team via BBC local radio commentary and on our website.

    And for now, I bid you a goodnight.

  2. Post update

    Bath 43-18 London Irish

    Mike Ford also paid tribute to Sam Burgess' man-of-the-match performance. The flanker made 12 carries in tonight's game.

    "His skillset is his work-rate and his carrying. We've always had that vision for Sam, you can see the way that we're playing with Kyle Eastmond and George Ford, they're first and second receivers and Sam's running a line off them as well.

    "He's in the backfield as well so if people want to kick to us we've got Matt Banahan, Anthony Watson, Semesa Rokoduguni and Sam Burgess.

    "He's everything I thought he could be. I still think he can improve and he thinks so too, but in every training session he's getting better and better."

  3. Post update

    Bath 43-18 London Irish

    Ford continued: "We believe in our principles and what we're doing. Last year we lost a lot of players towards the end of the season, but this year Dave Wilson is coming back for the Harlequins game, Henry Thomas is the week after.

    "We got no injuries tonight. We've got another weeks' rest, and we're in a good position."

  4. Post update

    Bath 43-18 London Irish

    Bath head coach Mike Ford told BT Sport: "I thought we played well first-half to be honest, we made a lot of line breaks but couldn't build any pressure in terms of phases. They conceded 10 penalties in the first half.

    "At half-time we kept reiterating that we play the way we train, and I think at the start of the second-half it all came from the team talk and we didn't panic.

    "The start of the second-half was brilliant, and to get five tries in the end was very pleasing."

  5. Post update

    Bath 43-18 London Irish

    That bonus-point win for Bath means they now sit just a point behind leaders Northampton in the Premiership table.

    Perhaps more importantly, Mike Ford's side have overtaken and built a five-point gap between themselves and third-placed Saracens.

    It will all change again on Saturday though when Saints take on Sarries at 15:15 BST.

  6. Post update

    Bath 43-18 London Irish

    Burgess continued: "I think the way we play at Bath it does suit me, I can get into the game a bit more in that position. Whatever works well for the team I will do."

    Some might say his award is a gimmick, but to be frank he excelled tonight.

  7. Post update

    Bath 43-18 London Irish

    Sam Burgess

    Bath flanker and man-of-the-match Sam Burgess told BT Sport: "It's very tight at the top so five points is vital. We were quite scrappy in the first half but clinical in the second. I think we got to the breakdown earlier and have some great outside backs who can finish tries off.

    "We live in the now and take it week by week, we can only control what we can control. We've got two weeks left now."

  8. Post update

    Bath 43-18 London Irish

    Well after a slow start, Mike Ford's Bath came out in the second half fighting, with tries from Leroy Houston, Jonathan Joseph, Matt Banahan, Sam Burgess and Semesa Rokoduguni giving their side victory and taking them up to second.

    Now it's over to you Saracens...

  9. Full-time

    Bath 43-18 London Irish

  10. Try (Cowan, missed con Geraghty)

    Bath 43-18 London Irish

    Forget what I just said, what do I know?! Off a line-out by the try-line, the London Irish maul push Blair Cowan over the line. Shane Geraghty misses the difficult kick, and Luke Pearce blows his whistle for full-time.

    A thoroughly deserved victory for Bath.

  11. Post update

    Bath 43-13 London Irish

    This game is now winding itself down. After an explosive start to the second half, Bath are letting London Irish into it a bit, but the Exiles just can't get anywhere near the try-line.

    Meanwhile Sam Burgess has just been named man-of-the-match. Thoroughly deserved in my opinion. He's carried the ball well and done his job for the team.

  12. Try (Rokoduguni)

    Bath 43-13 London Irish

    Sneaky from Bath there, as George Ford fakes a penalty for the corner and Bath work the ball from right to left and then back again, allowing winger Semesa Rokoduguni an easy finish.

    Ford misses the conversion, but that doesn't matter too much in the context of this game. Take it out of the oven. It's done.

  13. Post update

    Bath 38-13 London Irish

    Ah, yet more handbags now, as London Irish sub Sean Cox takes issue with something. Not sure what though, not even sure he knows.

  14. Post update

    Bath 38-13 London Irish

    I think it would be an understatement to say this has been a rather strong second-half performance from Bath. The pace at which they have attacked the London Irish defence has been stunning, as George Ford kicks a penalty into the corner. They aren't relenting.

  15. Sin-bin (Leo)

    Bath 38-13 London Irish

    That's the second Irish player in the ref's book tonight as substitute Dan Leo walks to the bin for not moving away.

    As if things couldn't get any harder for the visitors...

  16. Try (Burgess, con Ford)

    Bath 38-13 London Irish

    Bath celebrate

    The floodgates have begun to open and there is a big name who has got their fourth try.

    Rugby league convert Sam Burgess, playing at flanker for the second time, has his third Premiership try as he is pushed over by a huge pack of Bath players to earn his side get a bonus point.

    That could be a massive morale boost for Burgess, who has impressed tonight.

  17. Post update

    Bath 31-13 London Irish

    Some pretty mad play from Topsy Ojo there. The London Irish winger threw the ball up in the air off George Ford's long kick, but it bounced away from him, allowing Bath players to run at him. In his haste he plays a pass far too long, but the Exiles scramble the ball away.

    That is not what your side need when they are down.

  18. Get involved via #bbcrugby

    Simon Meredith: Jonathan Joseph is one of the finest centres in world rugby at the moment, we're lucky to have him

  19. Post update

    Bath 31-13 London Irish

    Bath back-rower David Sisi summarising for BBC Radio Bristol: "After that first try it's given the boys some confidence, that edge that was missing.

    "We've been running good shapes all night. I was finding it tough in the first half to put my finger on what was going wrong.

    "The guys are now really executing what we were going out to do."

  20. Try (Banahan, missed con Ford)

    Bath 31-13 London Irish

    Matt Banahan

    Where was this in the first half? London Irish cannot deal with the explosive nature of Bath, and when Peter Stringer plays to Kyle Eastmond, he takes out some defenders before flicking out to a completely free Matt Banahan on the line, who goes in for an easy finish.

    George Ford, though, misses his first kick of the night. Still his side have an 18-point lead.

  21. Post update

    Bath 26-13 London Irish

    London Irish have barely been in this half, and have to stay patient when they have the ball. However, Bath's defence is so strong, and on the 16th phase of the Exiles' play Francois Louw causes a mistake and wins his side a penalty.

  22. Try (Joseph, con Ford)

    Bath 26-13 London Irish

    We barely had any chance to take a breath after Bath took the lead, and they've crossed again. Francois Louw does well to offload to Jonathan Joseph under pressure and, in the face of a London Irish defender he chips through. Despite 'shinning it', his pace gets him onto the end of the ball and over the line.

    George Ford, who is racking up the points tonight, gets another two with another immaculate conversion.

  23. Try (Houston, con Ford)

    Bath 19-13 London Irish

    Leroy Houston

    Finally the scrummaging ends, and Bath are back in front. The Bath scrum wheels well and gives Leroy Houston the chance to cross over, an opportunity he takes with aplomb. George Ford then gets the conversion nailed on.

    That will bring Mike Ford a huge sigh of relief.

  24. Post update

    Bath 12-13 London Irish

    When two groups of massive men collide like in a scrum, sometimes you get problems.

    The referee is not happy with these scrums, with numerous restarts after that knock-on.

  25. Post update

    Bath 12-13 London Irish

    Bath already putting pressure on the London Irish lead, as Francois Louw almost broke through to the line, but yet more London Irish bodies stopped him. A loose pass at the breakdown from Peter Stringer is then stopped by an Irish hand, but adjudged to have been knocked on.

    Meanwhile Jebb Sinclair is back on following his sinbin.

  26. Kick-off

    Bath 12-13 London Irish

    George Ford, who has assumed the Bath captaincy as Dave Attwood has come on to replace Stuart Hooper at half-time, kicks off to start the second half.

  27. Half-time

    Bath 12-13 London Irish

    They'll have been cheering that Tom Court try in the Saracens camp tonight. Second-placed Sarries will drop behind Bath if the Blue, Black and Whites earn a point tonight ahead of the London club's trip to face Northampton on Saturday.

  28. Get involved via #bbcrugby

    Anthony Watson

    Anthony Watson sure does have some serious wheels, Ian.

    So can London Irish, seemingly with nothing to play for, really pull off a shock here at The Rec? And are Bath stumbling in their quest to seal a play-off spot?

    Let us know what you think by using #bbcrugby on Twitter.

  29. Get involved via #bbcrugby

    Ian: Is Anthony Watson the fastest man in English rugby? I think he must be by some distance.

  30. Post update

    Half-time score
  31. Half-time

    Bath 12-13 London Irish

  32. Try (Court, con Noakes)

    Bath 12-13 London Irish

    Tom Court

    That was not really part of the script. London Irish take the lead.

    A great break from number eight Tom Guest gives London Irish metres, but the moves looks to have broken down the the ball is played out wide behind Topsy Ojo.

    The Exiles, though, recycle the ball and get their forwards involved and it eventually falls to prop Tom Court to power over with the help of Ojo. Noakes hits the easy conversion and the ref blows for half time.

    Remember Irish are a man down with Jebb Sinclair currently in the bin.

  33. Post update

    Bath 12-6 London Irish

    Excellent dummy running from Sam Burgess leaves Matt Banahan space to break through, but a long pass to Semesa Rokoduguni does not have enough on it, and the move breaks down.

  34. Post update

    Bath 12-6 London Irish

    Anthony Watson

    Anthony Watson, my oh my. London Irish's Chris Noakes intercepts a loose pass and sprints clear of everyone, but Watson comes out of nowhere to catch him just past halfway and eventually wins the penalty when Noakes didn't release.

    That is very impressive from the England man.

  35. Post update

    Bath 12-6 London Irish

    And there it is. Luke Pearce has his yellow out, and it's Jebb Sinclair who's the unlucky recipient.

    London Irish have the most yellow cards in the Premiership this season with 19, almost one a game, and it's certainly clear why from this showing.

  36. Post update

    Bath 12-6 London Irish

    Bath are really going for this. George Ford is scuppering any penalty chances to kick for the corner.

    Those penalties are coming at a real cost for Irish, who have just been warned by Luke Pearce that any more infringements will result in cards.

  37. Post update

    Bath 12-6 London Irish

    A break in play now as Blair Cowan comes off worse with an aeriel duel with Semesa Rokoduguni, landing heavily on his shoulder.

    The big guy has the physio on, but is up pretty quickly. I don't know why I've called him big guy, they're all big.

  38. Penalty (Noakes)

    Bath 12-6 London Irish

    That kick from Noakes just has enough legs on it to creep over the posts and bring his side back to within a converted try of their hosts.

    This is quite a war of attrition.

  39. Post update

    Bath 12-3 London Irish

    Hello! A little bit of handbags here as London Irish's Luke Narraway gets to grips with George Ford trying to get the ball back after Rob Webber went in off his feet.

    Webber's infringement leaves Chris Noakes with a straight kick from 44 metres.

  40. Penalty (Ford)

    Bath 12-3 London Irish

    London Irish just cannot deal with the Bath pack. Luke Pearce is again blowing his whistle against a man in green off a scrum, and George Ford is once more the beneficiary from the tee.

  41. Post update

    Bath 9-3 London Irish

    London Irish's defence are well drilled and are just not letting any of the Bath forwards through. Sam Burgess, playing at flanker, almost wriggled through but three players were on him like a shot.

    But despite this, the Blue, Black and Whites manage to win a disputable five-metre scrum.

  42. Post update

    Bath 9-3 London Irish

    These scrums keep on turning into penalties for Bath. Once more, the Exiles are penalised for collapsing the scrum, and the hosts spurn the option of three points to kick for the try-line.

  43. Post update

    Bath 9-3 London Irish

    George Ford

    There's one man who's been right in the thick of this game already, and that's George Ford. The England fly-half breaks through three London Irish defenders, but his long pass out wide to Semesa Rokoduguni was not held as the winger slipped when he tried to catch the ball.

    He had a lot of space out there.

  44. Penalty (Ford)

    Bath 9-3 London Irish

    That three-point gap really did not last long. More London Irish indiscipline leaves George Ford with another kicking chance, which he gobbles up, no qualms about it.

  45. Penalty (Noakes)

    Bath 6-3 London Irish

    The Irish side have their reward and quieten The Rec crowd when Luke Pearce adjudges Bath to be infringing at the scrum, leaving Chris Noakes a simple kick over to bring his side within three points.

    Who said Bath would walk this game?

  46. Post update

    Bath 6-0 London Irish

    Ohhhhhh Tom Guest is not happy with that! London Irish push hard and have the ball over the line after the scrum breaks down, but referee Luke Pearce pulls it back for another scrum for an infringement.

  47. Post update

    Bath 6-0 London Irish

    London Irish and in particular Darren Allinson looked really impressive there, offloading beautifully, but they are held up by a mean Bath defence and earn a five-metre scrum for their troubles.

  48. Post update

    Bath 6-0 London Irish

    After a slow start, London Irish are pressing their superiors in the table, and Darren Allinson takes a quick kick - going close to the line. Can they get it over?

  49. Post update

    Bath 6-0 London Irish

    London Irish finally have a bit of possession in the Bath half, and Chris Noakes sends a long cross-field kick to Topsy Ojo, who catches and offloads to Blair Cowan, but he loses the ball when tackled by Leroy Houston.

  50. Penalty (Ford)

    Bath 6-0 London Irish

    George Ford

    Ford is spot on with the penalty from all of 45 yards. Bath are already exerting their authority on a London Irish side who will not be impressing incoming new boss Tom Coventry.

  51. Post update

    Bath 3-0 London Irish

    First scrum of the night goes in favour of Bath, and the Irish front row are judged to infringe, leaving George Ford with a very kickable chance from the right.

  52. Penalty (Ford)

    Bath 3-0 London Irish

    Bath get the early penalty after an infringement at the breakdown on Matt Banahan by Tom Guest. George Ford's kick is absolutely straight through the posts and his side have an early lead.

  53. Kick-off

    Bath 0-0 London Irish

    Referee Luke Pearce blows his whistle and London Irish get us under way. Game on.

  54. Get involved via #bbcrugby

    Steven Pipe: @bathrugby to beat @LiRFC tonight. This season Bath will make the top four.

  55. Post update

    Teams coming out

    The teams are a'coming. The strips are what you'd expect. Bath are in Blue, Black and White, while London Irish are in their traditional Green.

  56. Team line-ups

    Bath v London Irish (19:45 BST)

    London Irish: Fenby; Ojo, Griffin, Mulchrone, Lewington; Noakes, Allinson; Court, Paice, Palframan, Skivington (capt), Sinclair, Narraway, Cowan, Guest.

    Replacements: Ellis, Hagan, Aulika, Leo, Cox, O'Leary, Geraghty, Sheridan.

  57. Team line-ups

    Bath v London Irish (19:45 BST)

    Bath: Watson; Rokoduguni, Joseph, Eastmond, Banahan; Ford, Stringer; James, Webber, Palma-Newport, Hooper (capt), Day, Burgess, Louw, Houston.

    Replacements: Batty, Auterac, Lahiff, Attwood, Garvey, Fearns, Cook, Devoto.

  58. Post update

    Bath v London Irish (19:45 BST)

    A final reminder of the two teams tonight, as Sam Burgess makes his second start for Bath's first team at flanker.

  59. Post update

    BBC coverage

    Remember that you can listen to BBC local radio commentary via the Live Coverage tab near the top of this page.

    Both BBC Radio Berkshire and BBC Radio Bristol are at the game, so you can take your pick.

  60. Post update

    Bath v London Irish (19:45 BST)

    Bizarrely Bath are still out on the pitch doing their warm ups... Do they realise there's four minutes to kick-off?

  61. Get involved via #bbcrugby

    Don't forget, we want you to get involved throughout the game, no matter which team you follow.

    Get in touch with your thoughts using #bbcrugby on Twitter.

  62. Post update

    Bath v London Irish (19:45 BST)

    The Rec

    There are few better places to either watch or play rugby than The Rec at night.

    It's not as dark as this yet, but where nicer to have 30 burly blokes trying to smash each other to smithereens, eh?

  63. Post update

    Bath v London Irish (19:45 BST)

    Tom Homer

    One familiar face in the Bath ranks to those wearing London Irish shirts is utility back Tom Homer, who moved from the Madejski to The Rec in February following the departure of Gavin Henson.

    Some might think his inside knowledge could prove useful tonight, but Bath coach Toby Booth is wary of using any of those tactics.

    "It's unprofessional to ask players to talk about that. We wouldn't want it done reciprocally," said Booth.

    "Ultimately you need to do your own analysis and make sure you prepare your team well."

    Very noble of him, but Homer is unavailable to play tonight.

  64. Post update

    Bath v London Irish (19:45 BST)

    London Irish hooker David Paice told BT Sport: "It might not look like we've got much to play for, but pride's a big thing and we want to lay a foundation for next season when we've got a whole load of changes.

    "If we can build up a culture of never giving up and showing that to the new coach, it's a huge motivator for us."

  65. Post update

    Bath v London Irish (19:45 BST)

    Back to tonight's game and Bath head coach Mike Ford has been speaking to BT Sport about the possibility of a home semi-final.

    "Top two is vital. We know if we take our eye off the ball tonight they're dangerous and can beat us - they play unexpected rugby.

    "You've got to look after yourselves, we want to start the game fast and explode. If we do that tonight we'll be in a good place and let everyone else fight it out for the next few days."

  66. Post update

    Wasps v Exeter (Sun, 26 April 14:00 BST)

    Exeter after defeat at Gloucester

    Exeter Chiefs may have only lost one of their last six league matches, but they travel to Wasps on the back of last week's European Challenge Cup semi-final defeat at Gloucester.

    But with so much at stake, Chiefs head coach Rob Baxter knows his side cannot be caught licking their wounds at the Ricoh.

    "What this weekend gives us is a fantastic opportunity to have a replay of a semi-final away from home," he told BBC Radio Devon.

    "If you look at the way the season is set up for us, this is a hugely important game in terms of where we are in the Premiership.

    "Last week was important in terms of being a cup game away and now we get the opportunity to show that actually we can go and perform away from home in a big game at the end of the Premiership season, in a football stadium.

    "There's a lot of things involved this week that are great for us to practice and get excited about and try and use last week's semi-final as the foundation for this week's game."

  67. Post update

    Wasps v Exeter (Sun, 26 April 14:00 BST)

    Wasps against Exeter at the Ricoh Arena has all the makings of an absolutely corking game come Sunday.

    Sixth-placed Wasps, desperate to hold on to the final Champions Cup place with three games left, host fourth-placed Exeter, equally as anxious to keep the last play-off place.

    "You have to win your home games if you want to be in the top six, it doesn't matter who you're up against, said director of rugby Dai Young, whose Black and Yellows have only lost once since their move to Coventry last year.

    Dai Young

    "We face a side who deservedly sit fourth in the table and we know we will have to be near our best.

    "Exeter have been a team we've had trouble beating over the last few seasons. They've played some very good rugby this season and their ability to run teams around has seen them move up into the top four with some well-deserved results."

  68. Post update

    Northampton v Saracens (Sat, 25 April 15:15 BST)

    Northampton v Saracens

    Premiership leaders Northampton Saints face a real examination of their title credentials on Saturday against Saracens, who could drop to third if Bath get as much as a point tonight.

    Saints have decided to take the game to Stadium:MK, and with more than 27,000 tickets already sold, a record attendance is expected at the home of MK Dons Football Club, which will play host to some Rugby World Cup matches this year.

    Sarries, meanwhile, come into the game on the back of a morale-crushing 13-9 European Champions Cup loss at Clermont Auvergne last week.

    Whatever the result is at The Rec tonight, Sarries will be desperate to continue their push for a Premiership home semi-final against the side they lost to in the final last season.

  69. Post update

    Leicester v London Welsh (Sat, 25 April 15:00 BST)

    Richard Cockerill

    Leicester Tigers have, on paper, the easiest Premiership match of the weekend, taking on the top-flight's whipping-boys London Welsh at Welford Road.

    But Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill knows all too well that games are played on grass, not paper, unless of course you're at Saracens or Newcastle...

    "They're combative, they're on the edge of the laws most of the time and they give a lot penalties away," Cockerill, whose side are three points behind fourth-placed Exeter, told BBC Radio Leicester.

    "They're very committed and actually they play a lot of rugby and they do score some tries to be fair to them, so they'll be a dangerous side.

    "We have to be very disciplined and controlled and make sure we execute all the things that we probably didn't do well against Saracens."

  70. Get involved via #bbcrugby

    Bath v London Irish (19:45 BST)

    Let's take a brief break from this weekend's matches to gander at Bath's ground ahead of tonight's game.

    London Irish on Twitter: Warm ups underway at The Rec.

    The Rec
  71. Post update

    Gloucester v Newcastle (Sat, 25 April 15:00 BST)

    Newcastle Falcons travel to Gloucester on Saturday afternoon in a Premiership game which in truth has little riding on it.

    Falcons are safe from relegation thanks to London Welsh's dismal tally of one point all season, while ninth-placed Gloucester have a European final to look forward to after beating Exeter in a thrilling Challenge Cup semi-final last Saturday.

    Jonny May

    Ahead of next week's showdown against Edinburgh, Cherry and Whites director of rugby David Humphreys has chosen to rotate his squad, giving a start to Billy Twelvetrees in the midfield.

    Newcastle, meanwhile, have made four changes to the side beaten by Bath including bringing Josh Furno, Will Welch and Ally Hogg back into the pack.

  72. Post update

    Sale v Harlequins (Sat, 25 April 14:00 BST)

    For Harlequins, the season cannot end soon enough.

    Last year's beaten Premiership play-off semi-finalists have struggled for form all season and lie in eighth, set to finish outside the top four for the first time since 2010-11.

    In a bid to solve those issues, Quins are looking at some big names, including Wales and British & Irish Lions centre Jamie Roberts.

    Jamie Roberts

    "If we could get someone of Jamie's ability it would be a big statement of what we are about," O'Shea told BBC Radio 5 live.

    That would be quite a statement.

  73. Post update

    Sale v Harlequins (Sat, 25 April 14:00 BST)

    Sale players celebrate

    In the race for a coveted European Champions Cup place, seventh-placed Sale have the chance to close the gap to Wasps in sixth before the Coventry-based side play on Sunday.

    Steve Diamond's team, who have won seven of their nine home Premiership games this season, face inconsistent Harlequins at the AJ Bell on Sunday afternoon.

    "We're in that position where we know we've got to win all of your games," Sharks director of rugby Diamond told BBC Sport.

    "They've got their England players back and it's going to be a very difficult game for us.

    "Sides do find it difficult up here, but they find it difficult because we're good at home."

  74. Post update

    What's happening?

    Tonight is just the start of a full weekend of Premiership fixtures, so let's see what you can look forward to if you want your rugby union fix.

  75. Get involved via #bbcrugby

    Now tonight would be a little bit boring if it was just me talking, don't you think? That's why I'd like you to get involved.

    Will Bath earn themselves a home play-off semi-final? How do you think the top six will shape up? And in the light of London Welsh's disastrous season, what can be done to bridge the gap between the Premiership and Championship?

    Get involved using #bbcrugby on Twitter.

  76. Post update

    Tight at the top

    Premiership table

    It's a long old season isn't it? Going into the 20th round of Premiership games this is how things stand at the top, and it shows just how important tonight's game could be in Bath's campaign.

    Win tonight and it puts pressure on Saracens before they travel to face Northampton on Saturday. Lose and they'll have Exeter Chiefs breathing down their necks, and that's not a pretty thing to think about.

    As a complete aside, Leicester Tigers' points difference looks a total anomaly in that table!

  77. Post update

    Bath v London Irish (19:45 BST)

    London Irish

    If Bath think they are going to have an easy ride tonight, they can think again.

    London Irish may be third-from-bottom in the table but have won three of their last four league matches, including a narrow 25-23 victory over top-six chasers Sale Sharks.

    With a new head coach on the horizon, things are beginning to look up for the Exiles.

    But interim boss Glenn Delaney probably shouldn't look at the history books before their trip to The Rec, a place his side last won in 2009 against a team they have only beaten once in their last 10 encounters.

  78. Post update

    Bath v London Irish (19:45 BST)

    Mike Ford

    Another end-of-season cliche now. Bath are hitting form at just the right time and come into tonight's match on a run of three straight victories as they push for a home semi-final.

    Mike Ford's side have only lost one Premiership match at The Rec this season, a sign of just how vital that second spot could prove to be.

    "Building momentum is massively important," Bath coach Toby Booth told BBC Radio Bristol.

    "We know what needs to be done for us to keep progressing this season and the goals of being in the final shake up, so it's important we get things right against London Irish."

  79. Post update

    Bath v London Irish (19:45 BST)

    After a week off for European semi-finals, the Premiership is back and with just three games to go the race for the play-offs and Europe is bubbling up quite nicely.

    Bath celebrate

    Third-placed Bath take on London Irish tonight knowing victory will take them up to second in the table, and in prime position for a home play-off semi before Saracens take on leaders Northampton on Saturday.

    The Exiles might not appear to have anything to play for down in 10th, but the players will want to impress knowing new head coach in Tom Coventry is arriving following the conclusion of the World Cup.

  80. Post update

    The Final Countdown

    Joey Tempest of Europe

    It's getting to that time of the season when anxiety kicks in, shoulders are being looked over, and EVERY SINGLE television montage discussing how things are shaping up is backed by the voice of Europe singer Joey Tempest pounding out 'The Final Countdown'.

    And while you struggle to get that song out of your head, I'd like to welcome you to tonight's Premiership live text offering of Bath v London Irish.