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Bath bench Cipriani as they make 8 changes after Saracens beating

By Liam Heagney

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Ex-England out-half Danny Cipriani is one of the players who have paid a selection price following last Sunday’s 71-17 hammering by Saracens at The Rec, director of rugby Stuart Hooper making eight changes to his starting team for this Saturday’s trip to defending champions Harlequins. Cipriani has been benched following his involvement in the embarrassing loss that has left Bath winless in four games and rooted to the bottom of the Gallagher Premiership table. 

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The soon-to-be 34-year-old Cipriani was making his home debut against Saracens having suffered a head knock during the opening match of the Bath campaign last month at Sale. But he now drops back out of the team and will provide cover from the bench at The Stoop for young Orlando Bailey, who has been handed the No10 shirt on this occasion.  

The demotion of Cipriani – a high profile signing for the 2021/22 campaign – is one of five changes to the starting backline. Semesa Rokoduguni comes in for Anthony Watson following his devastating ACL injury, Max Clark replaces Max Ojomoh, Ruaridh McConnochie is in for Will Muir while recent loan signing Joe Simpson will make his first Bath appearance as the starting scrum-half in place of Ollie Fox. 

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In the pack, the three changes are Jacques du Toit for Tom Dunn, Tom Ellis for Miles Reid who is undergoing a return to play protocol, and Jaco Coetzee for Josh Bayliss who has what Bath describe as a minor soft tissue injury.

Harlequins, meanwhile, have recalled Will Collier, Tom Lawday, and Louis Lynagh to their starting XV following last weekend’s late loss at Sale, Simon Kerrod, the rested Jack Kenningham and Luke Northmore stepping down.

HARLEQUINS: 15. Tyrone Green; 14. Louis Lynagh, 13. Joe Marchant, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Cadan Murley; 10. Marcus Smith, 9. Danny Care; 1. Joe Marler, 2. Jack Walker, 3. Will Collier, 4. Matt Symons, 5. Dino Lamb, 6. James Chisholm, 7. Tom Lawday, 8. Alex Dombrandt (capt). Reps: 16. Sam Riley, 17. Santiago Garcia Botta, 18. Simon Kerrod, 19. Hugh Tizard, 20. Luke Wallace, 21. Scott Steele, 22. Huw Jones, 23. Luke Northmore.

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BATH: 15. Tom de Glanville; 14. Semesa Rokoduguni, 13. Jonathan Joseph, 12. Max Clark, 11. Ruaridh McConnochie; 10. Orlando Bailey, 9. Joe Simpson; 1. Beno Obano, 2. Jacques du Toit, 3. Will Stuart, 4. Josh McNally, 5. Charlie Ewels (capt), 6. Tom Ellis, 7. Sam Underhill, 8. Jaco Coetzee. Reps: 16 Tom Dunn 17 Lewis Boyce, 18 D’Arcy Rae, 19 Mike Williams, 20 Richard de Carpentier, 21 Ollie Fox, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Gabriel Hamer-Webb.

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Bath bench Cipriani as they make 8 changes after Saracens beating

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