Attention switches to the LV= Cup on Friday evening as Bath make the journey north to the AJ Bell Stadium looking to build on an excellent start to the season.
Victory over Worcester Warriors last Friday carried Bath up to second in the Aviva Premiership and, though Northampton Saints reclaimed that position before the weekend was out, they have started the league season in good form.
The two defeats in their first seven matches came against Saracens and the Sharks, the latter here at the AJ Bell Stadium a month ago.
But back-to-back victories in the Amlin Challenge Cup against Bordeaux-Begles and Newport Gwent Dragons in the weeks following the loss in Salford mean tonight's visitors have won seven of their opening nine games of the season.
Speaking after the 21-6 win at Sixways last week, coach Mike Ford said: "I thought it was a professional performance.
"Away from home, in the wet, against a desperate team, we were pleased that we didn't really give them anything.
"It was a fantastic first-half performance. They then came out, as we thought they would in the second half, and had a bit of a purple patch but we saw that out.
"I am pleased with the way the whole team played. The pack was outstanding, and Toby Booth and Neal Hatley have done a fantastic job with them this year.
"Slowly but surely we are getting a reputation for a forward pack that is as good as any in the competition at the moment, and it's all credit to those two."
After the Arscott's were in opposition last week, brothers could again be pitted against each other this weekend with GEORGE FORD a key part of the Bath squad.
George joined father Mike at the Rec in the summer, moving south from Leicester.
The 20-year-old, born in Oldham, had been with the Tigers since the age of 15 and made his first-team debut in November 2009, in the process becoming the youngest player to make his professional debut at club level.
He went on to make 26 Premiership appearances, scoring 163 points but was largely used as back-up fly-half to England's Toby Flood.
Recognised as one of the brightest young talents in English rugby, he was voted IRB World Junior Player of the Year in 2011.
That came after he starred for an England Under-20 side which reached the Junior World Cup final, playing at fly-half with Owen Farrell, 18 months his senior, alongside him at inside centre.
And it was his friend's subsequent breakthrough at club and international level that contributed to Ford's "massively hard decision" to leave Leicester.
With older brother Joe, 23, having left Leeds for the Sharks in the summer, the siblings could be in direct competition this evening.
Bath also boast a former Shark in their ranks in CARL FEARNS.
The 24-year-old moved to the Rec from Sale in the summer of 2011.
The 6ft 3in back row had made 36 first-team appearances, quickly becoming an integral member of the Sharks pack.
A big, strong ball carrier who is quick and effective around the park and at scrum time, Fearns has represented England at U16, U18 and U20 level.
And his performances at the 2009 IRB Junior World Championship with the England U20s team saw him nominated for the IRB Junior Player of the Year award.
Having represented England in the non-cap match against the Barbarians at Twickenham at the end of May 2011, he was called up to the England Saxons squad for the 2011 Churchill Cup final against Canada, which England won 37-6.
Fearns has played 27 times in the Premiership for Bath.
In the backs, England internationals NICK ABENDANON and MATT BANAHAN could feature in the Bath team.
Full-back Abendanon burst onto the scene during the 2006-07 season, scoring 10 tries in 24 first-team games.
A strong tackler, balanced runner and dangerous counter-attacker, the 27-year-old has made more than 120 Premiership appearances for Bath.
He earned his first England cap in South Africa - the country of his birth - in June 2007 and was capped again against France in August 2007, but narrowly missed out on a place in England's 30-man World Cup squad.
They remain his only two full international caps but some fine performances since have seen him rewarded with call-ups for the England Saxons from 2008-2011.
Jersey-born Banahan switched from the pack to the wing with devastating effect, scoring 16 tries in his debut season for Bath in 2007-08.
Formerly a back-five forward in the London Irish Academy, his pace and power are ideally suited to the wing.
His development did not gone unnoticed by then England manager Martin Johnson - and at 22 he was capped twice during the summer of 2009, scoring a try on his debut at Old Trafford as England beat Argentina.
Banahan has gone on to represent England 16 times, the last three of which came at the 2011 World Cup, scoring four tries.
And the five tries he has scored against the Sharks is the most by any Bath player.
One of three scrum-halves signed by Bath in the summer, MARTIN ROBERTS will be hoping to make only his second domestic start of the season.
While Peter Stringer penned a permanent deal at the Rec following a loan spell earlier this year, Roberts and Micky Young were signed from Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers respectively after Michael Claassens and Mark McMillan left.
Roberts, who has three Wales caps to his name, spent two years at Northampton and came on as a replacement in the Premiership final in May.
The 27-year-old's rugby career began at Ospreys, his home region, before he joined another Welsh side, Scarlets, in 2008 prior to his switch to Franklin's Gardens.
Explaining his summer move, he said: "Although I enjoyed my time at Saints, when the opportunity arose to move to Bath I grasped it with both hands.
"Bath is a great club, an ambitious club and has recruited really well. There's a really good squad here, it's a beautiful place and has a strong rugby heritage."
NATHAN CATT is another who could make the step up from last week's bench.
After rising through the ranks of the Bath Academy, Catt made up the step up to the first-team squad in 2008.
An athletic prop, the 25-year-old has a strong all-round game, with his power in the tight combining with excellent handling skills and mobility around the field.
His talent has impressed the national set-up, and he has represented England at U18, U19, U20 and, most recently, England Saxons, level.
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