18 May, 15:44
It's down to the wire now for the five contenders who have been shortlisted for the ultimate individual accolade in northern hemisphere rugby, ERC European Player of the Year 2013.
The side sees four changes in the starting fifteen after Sunday's disappointing defeat to Northampton Saints, with England international Olly Barkley - nominated for the Young Player of the Year award at the PRA annual awards dinner on May 19th - returning at fly half after a rest last weekend.
Simon Danielli's ankle has now recovered after he damaged it against Sale Sharks in the Zurich Premiership three weeks ago and he returns to the side on the left wing with Wylie Human moving across to the right. Alex Crockett drops out of the side but may appear on the bench depending on whether Mike Catt passes a late fitness test.
In the pack club captain Danny Grewcock will start alongside the impressive Steve Borthwick now that his back is fully recovered. Danny received the injury in England's defeat against France in the RBS Six Nations. Rob Fidler, who has been in exceptional form for Bath Rugby all season, drops to the bench providing Connolly with an embarrassment of riches in this position.
David Barnes moves up for the injured David Flatman, who has an achilles problem and will be absent this weekend. John Connolly said he hoped to know a bit more about Flatman's injury later today. Michael Lipman will also undergo a late fitness test on his hip, with the eager James Scaysbrook ready to take his place should he not make it.
'We've got a couple of guys injured or awaiting late tests, but that gives some of the other guys the opportunities they've patiently been waiting for all season,' said Connolly. 'David Barnes has played very well for us when he's had the chance and Flat's misfortune is Barnesy's big chance. Similarly James Scaysbrook is a player we rate very highly, so if Michael Lipman misses out James can lay down a marker at this crucial stage of the season.
'I believe Montferrand's defeat last weekend means that they miss out on Heineken Cup qualification domestically, but this great Parker Pen competition is their lifeline in that respect and going over there is a tough prospect.
'The defeat two weeks ago will be fresh in their minds too and they won't need much motivation, but we'll just be looking to go over there and play our own game. If we play as we can do then we have a good chance of making the final.'
The game kicks off at 2pm French time on Saturday, 1pm in the UK, and is live on Sky Sports. The Bath Rugby clubhouse will be open with the match on the big screen for all those fans unable make the trip. Bath Rugby's U19 will also be playing on the Recreation Ground on Saturday afternoon against St. Peter's Cardiff. Kick off is at 2.30pm and admission is free.
Montferrand: A Floch; A Rougerie, R Chanal, T Marsh (capt), S Kuzbik; G Merceron, P Mignoni; C Soulette, O Azam, B Moyle, H Louw, T Privat, M Dieude, O Magne, E Vermeulen
Replacements: R Cockerill, S Delpuech, L Vaitanaki, A Audebert, M Raynaud, J Moreau, J Gendre,
Bath: M Perry; W Human, R Fleck, K Maggs, S Danielli; O Barkley, M Wood; D Barnes, J Humphreys, D Bell, S Borthwick, D Grewcock (capt), A Beattie, M Lipman, I Feaunati
Replacements: R Blake, L Mears, M Stevens, TBC, M Catt, S Gray, R Fidler,
Referee: Donal Courtney (Ireland)