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Louw returns for European clash against Cardiff

14 December 2016

Francois Louw will make his first appearance of the season for Bath Rugby tomorrow evening, as they take on Cardiff Blues in the fourth round of the European Rugby Challenge Cup at the Recreation Ground, kick-off 19:45.

The South African will be joined in the back row by Taulupe Faletau, who missed last weekend’s reverse fixture in the Welsh capital and Tom Ellis, who shifts to the blindside.

In the second row, Dave Attwood who starred in Bath Rugby’s 14-11 victory against top of the table Saracens two weeks ago forms a second row partnership with fellow England international Charlie Ewels, who also co-captains the side for the first time.

Nick Auterac, Ross Batty and Max Lahiff will lead the pack at loosehead, hooker and tighthead respectively.

George Ford and Kahn Fotuali’i also return to form one of the sport’s most exciting half-back pairings. Jonathan Joseph comes in at outside centre for his first game back for Bath Rugby since his try-scoring heroics for England, where he will feature in a new midfield partnership with Ben Tapuai.

Jack Wilson starts on the right wing with Aled Brew on the left, with the ever-present Tom Homer continuing his rich vein of form at full-back.

Director of Rugby, Todd Blackadder is looking forward to tomorrow’s fixture against the Blues. “We’re actually all really pleased we’ve had a short turnaround between games – it means we can get back out there quickly, get back into our stride and perform the way we know we are capable of.

“We’re also really looking forward to seeing the likes of Francois Louw, George Ford and Jonathan Joseph run out on the Rec again. It’s been a while since we’ve seen them here – especially Francois – and the experience they bring will be really beneficial for us. It also means we can freshen the squad up, and give those players who have been playing week in week out, like Matt Garvey and Semesa Rokoduguni, a bit of a break.”

Unavailable for selection: Matt Banahan, Dan Bowden, Chris Cook, David Denton, Rhys Priestland, David Sisi, Henry Thomas, Anthony Watson.

Bath Rugby team to face Cardiff Blues

15. Tom Homer

14. Jack Wilson

13. Jonathan Joseph

12. Ben Tapuai

11. Aled Brew

10. George Ford ©

9. Kahn Fotuali’i

1. Nick Auterac

2. Ross Batty

3. Max Lahiff

4. Charlie Ewels ©

5. Dave Attwood

6. Tom Ellis

7. Francois Louw

8. Taulupe Faletau

Replacements:

16. Michael van Vuuren

17. Beno Obano

18. Shaun Knight

19. Elliott Stooke

20. Zach Mercer

21. Darren Allinson

22. Adam Hastings

23. Max Clark 

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