Ahead of their Gallagher Premiership trip to Kingsholm to face local rivals Gloucester this Saturday, Bath director of rugby Stuart Hooper has been given the opportunity to name a combination he has never been able to before.


In what is a strong squad to face the Cherry and Whites, Francois Louw, Sam Underhill and Taulupe Faletau will all play together in the back row for the first time in two years.

Incredibly, injuries have prevented all three from starting alongside one another for quite a while, despite this being the third season that have all been part of the squad.

Underhill moved to the Rec in 2017, which was roughly the beginning of a slew of injuries for Welshman Faletau, which included multiple knee injuries, two broken arms and recently a broken collarbone.

However, the No8 has now recovered from the injury that prevented him from making the World Cup, a tournament where his back row partners starred.


Louw was part of the Springboks squad which lifted the Webb Ellis Cup, while Underhill formed one of the tournament’s most exciting back rows, labelled the ‘Kamikazee Kids’, alongside Tom Curry.


The South African’s expertise at the breakdown, married with Underhill’s resolute defence and Faletau’s ball-carrying, helps make one of the most dangerous and well rounded trios in England.

Fans are hailing this back row as world class, which is justified and a reason to be excited for the rest of the season.

Both flankers come from fantastic RWCs, and while Faletau may be working his way back to form in only his second game back, his reputation precedes him as one of the premier No8s in the world.

This promising partnership at the back of the scrum also comes at a time where Bath are building some momentum after a troubling start to the season.

Two wins on the bounce mean Hooper’s side sit in fifth in the Gallagher Premiership, and a win would mean they leapfrog their bitter rivals and could end the weekend in the top four.

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