Saturday, 31 December 2016

Bath Rugby team to face Exeter Chiefs

Bath Rugby have made three changes ahead of the final Aviva Premiership game of 2016 against Exeter Chiefs on New Year’s Eve at the Recreation Ground, kick-off 15:00.

All three changes come in the pack, where Tom Dunn is named at hooker, supported either side by Nathan Catt and Max Lahiff. The versatile Matt Garvey moves into the second row, where he will be joined by Dave Attwood, who was one of Bath’s four try scorers last weekend against Wasps.

Tom Ellis and Zach Mercer are the new faces in the back row at blindside flanker and number eight, with Francois Louw continuing his run back in the team at openside flanker.

In an unchanged backline, Tom Homer continues at full-back with the wings occupied by Aled Brew and Semesa Rokoduguni. Ben Tapuai, who scored his first try for the Club last time out, continues his partnership in the centre with Jonathan Joseph, while Kahn Fotuali’i and George Ford are once again the half-back pairing.

There is also a welcome return to the squad for England international Anthony Watson, who could make his first appearance for Bath since the start of October from the bench.

Todd Blackadder, Director of Rugby said: “The team are really looking forward to this weekend and are determined to end the calendar year on a high. There are areas where we will need to improve on from Wasps, but I have every confidence that they can do that on Saturday.

“It has been a hectic first half of the season with injuries and call-ups, but the squad have shown a great deal of character to get the results needed week after week to remain in the top three.

“We are now nearly back to full strength, so it is important that we give the likes of Ross, Luke and Toby the opportunity to recuperate for a crucial period for the Club in January.”

Unavailable for selection: Matt Banahan, Ross Batty, Dan Bowden, Luke Charteris, David Denton, Charlie Ewels, Taulupe Faletau, Rhys Priestland, Henry Thomas.



15. Tom Homer

14. Semesa Rokoduguni

13. Jonathan Joseph

12. Ben Tapuai

11. Aled Brew

10. George Ford (co-capt)

9. Kahn Fotuali’i

1. Nathan Catt

2. Tom Dunn

3. Max Lahiff

4. Matt Garvey (co-capt)

5. Dave Attwood

6. Tom Ellis

7. Francois Louw

8. Zach Mercer

Replacements

16. Michael van Vuuren

17. Nick Auterac

18. Shaun Knight

19. Elliott Stooke

20. Paul Grant

21. Darren Allinson

22. Max Clark

23. Anthony Watson


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