TOP BAR - Fixtures

Stooke to make first Bath Rugby start against former club

Second row Elliott Stooke will make his first start for Bath Rugby tomorrow when they face his former club, Gloucester Rugby, in an Aviva Premiership West Country derby at Kingsholm, kick-off 15:00.

Stooke is joined in the engine room by Charlie Ewels, with another former Gloucester man, Dave Attwood, shifting to the bench. Tom Dunn starts at hooker, with Nathan Catt and Henry Thomas packing down either side of him. Matt Garvey, handed the co-captain’s armband alongside George Ford, starts in the back-row with Tom Ellis on the openside and Leroy Houston at number 8.

Ford and Kahn Fotuali’i will look to continue their impressive partnership, with a midfield combination of Matt Banahan and Aled Brew selected. The back three is the same as against Leicester – Tom Homer at fullback, and Anthony Watson and Semesa Rokoduguni (who has scored four tries in four appearances so far this season) providing the threat out wide on the wings.

Todd Blackadder, Director of Rugby, said: “We’re obviously really keen to bounce back from last weekend, and what better what to do that than with a West Country derby? We’ve rotated the squad slightly, with Elliott and Tom starting, and we know they will both be really eager to put in strong performances, especially Elliott against his former club.

“The co-captaincy between George and Matt has been happening on the field already this season and is a partnership that is working well for us. They both have great leadership qualities, and obviously each have their own areas of expertise – Matt with the forwards and technical aspects, and George with running the game and the wider look at things.”

Bath Rugby team to face Gloucester

15. Tom Homer

14. Semesa Rokoduguni

13. Aled Brew

12. Matt Banahan

11. Anthony Watson

10. George Ford ( c )

9. Kahn Fotuali’i

 

1. Nathan Catt

2. Tom Dunn

3. Henry Thomas

4. Charlie Ewels

5. Elliott Stooke

6. Matt Garvey ( c )

7. Tom Ellis

8. Leroy Houston

 

Replacements

16. Ross Batty

17. Nick Auterac

18. Kane Palma-Newport

19. Dave Attwood

20. Zach Mercer

21. Chris Cook

22. Rory Jennings

23. Jeff Williams

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