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Back from the abyss, Bath's revival is gathering steam

Johan van Graan has quietly set about improving every facet of the West Country club and results are starting to come

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Bath reveal double injury blow while Dunn mullet also bites dust

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Bob Bradford/CameraSport via Getty Images)

Struggling Bath have had their troubling start to the new 2022/23 Gallagher Premiership worsened by the revelation that new signing Chris Cloete is set for a post-op stint on the sidelines as is Will Muir, who is seeking further consultation following a training ground injury.

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New Bath boss Johann van Graan has seen his team beaten in all three matches so far, leaving them in twelfth position with just two points heading into Saturday’s game at London Irish.

Beaten last weekend by Wasps, they have made five changes to their starting XV for their Premiership trip to London and a Bath statement on their team announcement read: “Chris Cloete has sustained a broken metatarsal and will begin his rehabilitation post-surgery… Will Muir suffered an injury in training and will seek specialist opinion.”

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In the pack, Quinn Roux, GJ van Velze, Juan Schoeman and Josh Bayliss are all included to start in round four, as is winger Gabriel Hamer-Webb. Niall Annett could make a belated club debut from the bench after his suspension for his unusual sending-off as an unused sub at Bristol on the opening day of the season.

Meanwhile, skipper Tom Dunn will take the field in Brentford minus his mullet after he shaved it off post-training ahead of the game. The hooker had grown the mullet for a year but has gotten rid of it to help raise awareness and funds for the My Name5 Doddie Foundation, the charity set up after ex-Scotland forward Doddie Weir was diagnosed with MND.

Bath (vs London Irish, Saturday):
15. Matt Gallagher; 14. Joe Cokanasiga, 13. Jonathan Joseph, 12. Max Ojomoh, 11. Gabriel Hamer-Webb; 10. Orlando Bailey, 9. Louis Schreuder; 1. Juan Schoeman, 2. Tom Dunn (capt), 3. Will Stuart, 4. Quinn Roux, 5. Josh McNally, 6. GJ van Velze, 7. Miles Reid, 8. Josh Bayliss. Reps: 16. Niall Annett, 17. Lewis Boyce, 18. D’Arcy Rae, 19. Tom Ellis, 20. Wesley White, 21. Max Green, 22. Piers Francis, 23. Ruaridh McConnochie.

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