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Team news: Bristol Bears vs Bath - GP R1

Ellis Genge will make his hometown return when Bristol Bears take on West Country rivals Bath at Ashton Gate on the opening night of the new Gallagher Premiership season.

  • Ellis Genge starts on his return to the club
  • Jake Heenan captains the side in the absence of Steven Luatua
  • Magnus Bradbury, AJ MacGinty and Sam Lewis set for competitive debuts

The Bristolian prop starts in the front row alongside England teammate Kyle Sinckler and hooker Bryan Byrne, while Joe Joyce returns from injury to partner Chris Vui in the engine room.

Jake Heenan captains the side this week in the absence of Steven Luatua, while Magnus Bradbury is set for his first competitive appearance for the club at number eight alongside recent England call-up Sam Jeffries.

Harry Randall and Callum Sheedy are the half-backs, with Sam Bedlow and Piers O’Conor lining up in the midfield. Charles Piutau, Rich Lane and Luke Morahan complete the starting XV.

Elsewhere, AJ MacGinty and Sam Lewis could make their first competitive appearances for the club from the replacements bench.

Bristol Bears team to face Bath at Ashton Gate on Friday night (7.45pm KO):

15. Charles Piutau (64 apps), 14. Luke Morahan (98 apps), 13. Piers O'Conor (108 apps), 12. Sam Bedlow (47 apps), 11. Rich Lane (5 apps); 10. Callum Sheedy (132 apps), 9. Harry Randall (85 apps); 1. Ellis Genge (23 apps), 2. Bryan Byrne (32 apps), 3. Kyle Sinckler (32 apps), 4. Joe Joyce (151 apps), 5. Chris Vui (93 apps), 6. Sam Jeffries (54 apps), 7. Jake Heenan (c) (65 apps), 8. Magnus Bradbury (debut).

System players: 16. Will Capon (59 apps), 17. Jake Woolmore (108 apps), 18. Max Lahiff (40 apps), 19. Ed Holmes (85 apps), 20. Sam Lewis (debut), 21. Andy Uren (135 apps), 22. AJ MacGinty (debut), 23. Jack Bates (21 apps).

Unavailable: Harry Thacker, Fred Davis, Joe Owen, Steven Luatua, Dan Thomas, Fitz Harding, Ioan Lloyd, Semi Radradra, Siva Naulago.


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