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Eight Bath Rugby changes for West Country derby at Exeter Chiefs

George Ford

Bath Rugby has made eight changes to the side that started against Bristol in the European Rugby Challenge Cup as they prepare to take on Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday (kick-off 15:00) in another West Country derby.

Five of the changes come in the pack, as Ross Batty and Henry Thomas return to the front row, packing down alongside Nick Auterac. Dave Attwood takes his place alongside Luke Charteris in the engine room, whilst Tom Ellis and Charlie Ewels come in on the openside flank and at number eight respectively with Matt Garvey continuing on the blindside.

Kahn Fotuali’i and George Ford re-establish their highly effective half-back partnership, and Semesa Rokoduguni takes his place on the right wing. Aled Brew is named on the left wing, with Matt Banahan and Jonathan Joseph teaming up in the midfield once more and Tom Homer remains at fullback.

Director of Rugby, Todd Blackadder, is looking forward to the game: “I’ve heard what great games we’ve had with Exeter in the past few seasons, and I’m sure Sunday’s game will be another.

“The game is going to be a big test for us, in terms of measuring where we are as a team – it will show us what we’re doing right as well as wrong, and mean we can take that forward into a pretty challenging run of Aviva Premiership games that we have coming up after the Anglo Welsh Cup.

“The injury list is getting shorter, which means we have a decent number of bodies out training for the first real time this season, and that’s meant we’ve had some really good sessions as we’ve prepared for this game – we’re just looking forward to getting out there and playing now.”
 
Not available for selection: Nathan Catt, Max Clark, Chris Cook, David Denton, Taulupe Faletau, Leroy Houston, Francois Louw, David Sisi, Jack Walker, Anthony Watson.

Bath Rugby team to face Exeter Chiefs

15. Tom Homer
14. Semesa Rokoduguni
13. Jonathan Joseph
12. Matt Banahan
11. Aled Brew
10. George Ford (co-capt)
9. Kahn Fotuali’i

1. Nick Auterac
2. Ross Batty
3. Henry Thomas
4. Luke Charteris
5. Dave Attwood
6. Matt Garvey (co-capt)
7. Tom Ellis
8. Charlie Ewels

Replacements
16. Tom Dunn
17. Max Lahiff
18. Kane Palma-Newport
19. Elliott Stooke
20. Guy Mercer
21. Will Homer
22. Rhys Priestland
23. Jeff Williams

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