Catt's injury woes continue
Mike Catt's injury-ravaged season has taken another downward turn and effectively ended his England hopes until the Six Nations Championship kicks off in February.
Fly-half Catt lasted barely 16 minutes of Bath's impressive 24-20 Zurich Premiership victory against Newcastle before limping off due to a recurring hamstring problem.
Had he played a full game at Kingston Park, then it is understood that England would seriously have considered him for next Saturday's Twickenham appointment with South Africa.
But the 56 times-capped international was once again forced to concede defeat, and detailed medical analysis will now be required as he faces a potential further spell on the sidelines.
Despite Catt's premature departure - and the late loss of former England full-back Matt Perry, also with a hamstring problem - Bath deservedly registered only their second Premiership away win this season.
Scrum-half Andy Williams, making his first league start of the campaign, scored a try after just 106 seconds, and wing Tom Voyce's touchdown ensured there would be no way back for a Newcastle side rudderless without their England star Jonny Wilkinson.
Bath's west country rivals Bristol Shoguns, who visit the Recreation Ground in a derby clash next weekend, moved off the bottom of the Premiership following a 32-32 draw with fellow strugglers London Irish.
It was the first time in two months that Bristol climbed a place, swapping positions with Irish, who now prop up the table.
Substitute hooker Saul Nelson's injury-time try hauled Bristol level, but Shane Drahm was just inches wide with a superb touchline conversion attempt, and honours finished even.
"We completely dominated their line-out and had an upper hand in the scrums, but we didn't have the upper hand in open play," said Irish rugby director Conor O'Shea.
"It could have gone either way, yet if you have the dominance in phase play that we did, then you should dominate the match."
Barry Everitt kicked 22 of Irish's points - centre Nick Burrows and flanker Declan Danaher scored tries - while Drahm and Brendon Daniel added touchdowns for Bristol in addition to a penalty try. Drahm booted the rest.
Lawrence Dallaglio, who won his 50th cap as an England replacement against Australia on Saturday, could not prevent Wasps from sliding to a 27-14 London derby defeat at the hands of Harlequins.
Dallaglio appeared off the bench just after half-time, yet Quins continued their recent improvement as Paul Burke marked his comeback appearance after six games out injured with 22 points and centre Nick Greenstock bagged a try.
"I am made up about that result," said Quins boss Mark Evans. "We lost scrum-half Nick Duncombe after a minute, had three centres unavailable and two players sin-binned, so it was a terrifically gutsy and spirited display."
Leeds regained second spot from champions Leicester by preserving their unbeaten Headingley record with a 26-19 victory over Northampton.
George Harder, Dan Scarborough and Chris Hall scored Leeds' tries, setting up an intriguing first-versus-second clash next Sunday when the Tykes visit leaders Gloucester.
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