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'The squad is so young and may have some inexperience in a few areas, but the lads are fighting for each other'

By PA
(Photo by Malcolm Couzens/Getty Images)

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Ben Spencer has underlined Bath’s desire to “crack the top four” ahead of a key Gallagher Premiership clash against play-off rivals Wasps.

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Bath have collected 14 points from a possible 15 since the competition restarted following its five-month stoppage due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Victories over London Irish, Leicester and Northampton also saw them score a total of 13 tries, confirming a form team potentially timing its run perfectly.

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A win against Recreation Ground visitors Wasps on Monday would take Bath above Bristol into third place with just five games left.

“We have a sight, and that sight is to crack the top four,” England international scrum-half Spencer told Bath’s official website.

“Everyone is hungry to play, and everyone wants to play, and ultimately the team that is picked is the best team to try and win the game.

“The squad is so young and may have some inexperience in a few areas, but whether it is in training or games, the lads are fighting for each other.

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“The will to win here is huge.

“The good thing about now is that people are going to get opportunities, which is good because it keeps that hunger and creates a good vibe for training.”

Bath boss Stuart Hooper has made 12 changes from the side that won impressively at Northampton on Wednesday.

England star Anthony Watson features at full-back, replacing Tom de Glanville, while other switches include starts for centre Josh Matavesi and skipper Charlie Ewels.

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Wasps show six changes from the side beaten at home by Sale Sharks five days ago. Lima Sopoaga features at full-back, and there are also opportunities for the likes of centre Ryan Mills, wing Marcus Watson and lock James Gaskell.

London Irish have lost their last five Premiership games, and life is not about to get any easier on Monday against a Saracens team featuring recalled England forwards Jamie George, Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola.

The Irish starting XV at Twickenham Stoop includes nine current or past members of the club’s academy set-up, while former Argentina Test captain Agustin Creevy makes his debut and England sevens star Dan Norton is on the bench.

Irish rugby director Declan Kidney said: “We know that Monday’s match against Saracens will be a challenge due to the quality of their squad.

“But it is a good chance for us to test ourselves against a great side, and we are looking forward to it.”

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