Ruaridh McConnochie will make his 50th Bath Rugby appearance this weekend against Newcastle Falcons.
The 29-year-old has excelled since joining the Blue, Black and White environment in 2018, transitioning from Sevens to deservedly become a fully-fledged England international, earning a place in Eddie Jones’ 2019 Rugby World Cup squad.
He has scored 18 tries in 49 Bath outings to date with the latest coming last weekend via a superb leap to claim fly-half Rhys Priestland’s perfectly execute crossfield kick.
McConnochie switches to the 11 jersey with fellow England wing Joe Cokanasiga returning in one of three changes to the starting XV from Round 12 of the Gallagher Premiership.
Reliable front-row operator Juan Schoeman is named at loosehead prop for his sixth start of the campaign while Academy graduate Miles Reid earns a deserved recall, partnering Sam Underhill and Zach Mercer in the back row.
Among the replacements, homegrown Senior Academy prop Arthur Cordwell could make his Premiership debut, 10 days after his 22nd birthday.
He has one senior game to his name which came in the 2019/20 Premiership Rugby Cup and steps up into the senior squad following Jamie Bhatti’s Scotland call-up.
On McConnochie’s milestone, Director of Rugby Stuart Hooper said: “For Ruaridh to have made as many appearances as he has for the club in such a short space of time speaks volumes for his work ethic, application and hunger to develop.
“He is a talented individual with a unique skillset and he has the desire to fulfil his full potential here. He is a fantastic person to have within the group and we are really pleased for him.”
Of Cordwell’s inclusion, Hooper added: “Arthur is one of many talented young players we have developed through our Academy and pathway at Bath.
“With Jamie earning an opportunity on the international stage, it opens the door for Arthur to show what he can do and we are excited to see him pull on the jersey.”
On facing Newcastle, Hooper concluded: “The lads are looking forward to going up to Newcastle.
“It’s an opportunity for us to get out there, put our game on the field again and try and expand on what we did in the first 30 minutes of the Exeter game.”
Bath Rugby side to face Newcastle Falcons
15. Tom de Glanville, 14. Joe Cokanasiga, 13. Jonathan Joseph, 12. Josh Matavesi, 11. Ruaridh McConnochie, 10. Rhys Priestland, 9. Ben Spencer; 1. Juan Schoeman, 2. Tom Dunn, 3. Henry Thomas, 4. Josh McNally ©, 5. Elliott Stooke, 6. Miles Reid, 7. Sam Underhill, 8. Zach Mercer
16. Jack Walker, 17. Arthur Cordwell, 18. Christian Judge, 19. Tom Ellis, 20. Ethan Staddon, 21. Ollie Fox, 22. Tian Schoeman, 23. Semesa Rokoduguni
15. Tom Penny, 14. Alex Tait, 13. George Wacokecoke, 12. Luther Burrell, 11. Mateo Carreras, 10. Joel Hodgson, 9. Michael Young (c); 1. Trevor Davison, 2. George McGuigan, 3. Mark Tampin, 4. Greg Peterson, 5. Darren Barry, 6. Gary Graham, 7. Philip van der Walt, 8. Callum Chick
16. Charlie Maddison, 17. Kyle Cooper, 18. Logovi'i Mulipola, 19. Sean Robinson, 20. John Hardie, 21. Sam Stuart, 22. Brett Connon, 23. Joel Matavesi