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Bath Rugby team named for European derby clash

Bath Rugby has named their side for the European Rugby Challenge Cup derby clash with Bristol Rugby tomorrow night at the Recreation Ground, kick-off 19:45.

In the backs, Tom Homer continues to threaten from full-back, with Jeff Williams called into the starting line-up on the right wing as Aled Brew continues on the left. Matt Banahan and Jonathan Joseph combine in the centres once more. Rhys Priestland, who had a faultless night with the boot in Pau, is partnered by Will Homer in the half-backs.

Up front, Nick Auterac and Max Lahiff team up with Michael van Vuuren to form a new front row, as the powerful duo of Luke Charteris and Charlie Ewels start in the engine room. Guy Mercer makes his second start of the season on the openside, as Matt Garvey and Zach Mercer come in to the starting line-up to complete the pack.

Director of Rugby, Todd Blackadder, said: “We’ve made a few changes to the starting line-up, bringing in the likes of Zach Mercer, Jeff Williams and Michael van Vuuren who have been going well in training, but have kept largely the same squad who beat Pau last weekend.

“We were pleased with the result out in France, but we know that there are key areas that need to improve and, whilst we’ve had a modified training week due to the short turnaround, we’ve been working hard on those things. The whole team is really excited about renewing the rivalry with Bristol – it’s going to be a cracking atmosphere at the Rec, and we can’t wait to get out there.”

Not available for selection due to injury: Dave Attwood, Ross Batty, Nathan Catt, Max Clark, Chris Cook, David Denton, Tom Ellis, Taulupe Faletau, Francois Louw, Niko Matawalu, David Sisi, Henry Thomas, Jack Walker, Anthony Watson.

Bath Rugby team to face Bristol Rugby

15. Tom Homer
14. Jeff Williams
13. Jonathan Joseph
12. Matt Banahan
11. Aled Brew
10. Rhys Priestland
9. Will Homer
1. Nick Auterac
2. Michael van Vuuren
3. Max Lahiff
4. Luke Charteris
5. Charlie Ewels
6. Matt Garvey (co-capt.)
7. Guy Mercer (co-capt.)
8. Zach Mercer

Replacements

16. Tom Dunn
17. Shaun Knight
18. Kane Palma-Newport
19. Elliott Stooke
20. Leroy Houston
21. Dan Bowden
22. Adam Hastings
23. Semesa Rokoduguni

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