Stuart Hooper has named Josh Bayliss as captain as Bath Rugby head to Northampton Saints for Round 11 of the Gallagher Premiership (13:00 kick-off, live on BT Sport 2).
Bayliss captained the Blue, Black and White on their last trip to Franklin’s Gardens in August last year, which resulted in a 3-18 win for the visitors.
Tom Ellis and Elliot Stooke return to the starting lineup, packing down with Juan Schoeman, Jack Walker and Christian Judge, while Miles Reid and Zach Mercer again start at open-side and No.8 respectively.
Will Chudley makes his first start of the season at scrum-half, with Rhys Priestland returning at fly-half after his match-winning display last weekend. Jonathan Joseph teams up with Josh Matavesi in the centre, with Will Muir – recently named in the GB Sevens training squad – and Semesa Rokoduguni on the wings. Tian Schoeman starts at full back.
Ruaridh McConnochie returns from injury as part of a strong bench including Tom Dunn, Jamie Bhatti, Henry Thomas, Ben Spencer, Max Clark and up-and-coming youngsters Ewan Richards and Ethan Staddon.
Director of Rugby Stuart Hooper said: "Our match against Saints represents a big challenge and we are looking forward to heading up to Franklin’s Gardens. It’s always an exciting place to go and play and we’ll be looking to repeat the success of our last visit.
"This team demonstrates the strength of our playing group and every player putting their hand up for selection.
"We’ll be aiming to replicate our success in the set-piece and create a solid platform from which to attack. We want to continue the momentum and come away with another win."
Bath Rugby side to face NORTHAMPTON SAINTS
15. Tian Schoeman, 14. Semesa Rokoduguni, 13. Jonathan Joseph, 12. Josh Matavesi, 11. Will Muir, 10. Rhys Priestland, 9. Will Chudley, 1. Juan Schoeman, 2. Jack Walker, 3. Christian Judge, 4. Tom Ellis, 5. Elliott Stooke, 6. Josh Bayliss (c), 7. Miles Reid, 8. Zach Mercer
16. Tom Dunn, 17. Jamie Bhatti, 18. Henry Thomas, 19. Ewan Richards, 20. Ethan Staddon, 21. Ben Spencer, 22. Max Clark, 23. Ruaridh McConnochie
NORTHAMPTON SAINTS side to face BATH RUGBY
15. Tommy Freeman, 14. Matt Proctor, 13. Rory Hutchinson, 12. Piers Francis, 11. Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10. George Furbank, 9. Tom James, 1. Nick Auterac, 2. Sam Matavesi, 3. Ehren Painter, 4. David Ribbans, 5. Api Ratuniyarawa, 6. Nick Isiekwe, 7. Lewis Ludlam (c), 8. Tom Wood
16. Reece Marshall, 17. Alex Waller, 18. Paul Hill, 19. Alex Moon, 20. Alex Coles, 21. Henry Taylor, 22. Harry Mallinder, 23. Ollie Sleightholme