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Author

Tom Tainton

writes

Posted Friday, February 28th 2020

Team news: Bath Rugby vs Bristol Bears

Jordan Crane makes his first competitive outing of the season when Bristol face Bath in the West Country derby on Sunday (3pm KO).

  • Bears make seven changes for West Country derby
  • Jordan Crane set for first competitive outing of season
  • Yann Thomas makes first league start of campaign
  • Steven Luatua returns to line-up as skipper

The hugely experienced back rower is one of seven changes to the side that secured a third successive Gallagher Premiership victory last weekend.

Director of Rugby Pat Lam includes Alapati Leiua and Andy Uren in the backline, with Henry Purdy (hamstring) missing out.

In the pack, Yann Thomas makes his first league start of the campaign, while Shaun Malton also returns to the front row. Ed Holmes comes into the second row, while Chris Vui remains at blindside flanker.

"It’s going to be a huge challenge – Bath are excellent on their own patch and we know we can expect one of the toughest games of the season."

Director of Rugby, Pat Lam

Steven Luatua comes back into the side as skipper, after missing the win over Worcester with a neck injury.

“It’s a West Country derby and that always adds spice to what will be a great occasion at the Recreation Ground,” said Lam.

“We’ve prepared well for this game and factored in the conditions, the surface and the opposition. It’s going to be a huge challenge – Bath are excellent on their own patch and we know we can expect one of the toughest games of the season.”

Nathan Hughes is listed among the replacements, while Ian Madigan and Mat Protheroe are also included.

Bristol Bears team to face Bath Rugby at the Recreation Ground on Sunday, March 1st  (3pm KO):

15. Charles Piutau; 14. Luke Morahan, 13. Piers O’Conor, 12. Sam Bedlow, 11. Alapati Leiua; 10. Callum Sheedy, 9. Andy Uren; 1. Yann Thomas, 2. Shaun Malton, 3. Lewis Thiede, 4. Ed Holmes, 5. Joe Joyce, 6. Chris Vui, 7. Steven Luatua (c), 8. Jordan Crane.

Replacements: 16. Will Capon, 17. Jake Woolmore, 18. Max Lahiff, 19. Nathan Hughes, 20. Luke Hamilton, 21. Harry Randall, 22. Ian Madigan, 23. Mat Protheroe.

Unavailable: Harry Thacker (neck), Jordan Lay (knee), James Lay (leg), John Afoa (calf), Aly Muldowney (head), Dave Attwood (shoulder), Siale Piutau (knee), Luke Daniels (shoulder), Will Hurrell (head), Charlie Powell (ankle), Henry Purdy (hamstring).