Fixtures - Top Bar

Seven changes for Bath Rugby to face Sale

Bath Rugby have made seven changes to the side to face Sale Sharks in Round Six of the Aviva Premiership at the Recreation Ground tomorrow night, kick-off 19.45.

Jonathan Joseph, Dave Attwood and Zach Mercer return into the starting line-up and Club captain Guy Mercer and Adam Hastings feature on the bench.

Tom Homer retains his place at full-back with Semesa Rokoduguni providing the threat on the right wing. Jonathan Joseph makes his return to the side to partner Matt Banahan in the centres, meaning a positional change for Aled Brew, who shifts to the left wing. George Ford, who will once again co-captain the side with Matt Garvey, continues his successful partnership with Kahn Fotuali’i in the half backs.

The front row from last weekend’s derby win against Gloucester is unchanged, with Nathan Catt, Tom Dunn and Henry Thomas packing down at the coal face. Attwood comes back into the starting line-up and partners Elliott Stooke in the second row, with Zach Mercer starting at number eight. Garvey and Tom Ellis continue on the flanks either side of him.

Todd Blackadder, Director of Rugby, said: “Obviously it’s great to have JJ back in the mix – he’s an exciting, dynamic player who offers us a real attacking platform. It means that Aled can shift out to the wing, his more natural position, so we’re looking forward to seeing how he goes. Zach Mercer has performed really well when he’s had the chance this season, and deserves his start, and we’re thrilled that Guy Mercer is back in the matchday squad.

“Sale have been in great form, and we know they are a tough side to beat. We’ve had a good week’s preparation, and hopefully we’ll be able to put that into the game tomorrow night and end this block of Premiership games in a good place.

“Anthony Watson broke his jaw in the England training camp earlier this week. It’s too early for a full medical prognosis on how long he’ll be out for, but it’s likely he’ll miss the Autumn Internationals. He’s in great hands with our medical team, and we look forward to seeing him back on the pitch when he’s ready.”

Bath Rugby team to play Sale Sharks

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

1. Nathan Catt
2. Tom Dunn
3. Henry Thomas
4. Elliott Stooke
5. Dave Attwood
6. Matt Garvey (co-captain)
7. Tom Ellis
8. Zach Mercer

Replacements

16. Ross Batty
17. Nick Auterac
18. Kane Palma-Newport
19. Charlie Ewels
20. Guy Mercer
21. Chris Cook
22. Adam Hastings
23. Jeff Williams

Not available for selection: Anthony Watson, Rhys Priestland, Dan Bowden, Luke Charteris, Max Clark, David Denton, Taulupe Faletau, Francois Louw, Niko Matawalu, David Sisi, Jack Walker.

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