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Genge and Sinckler included as Bristol and Bath name round one teams

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

England vice-captain Ellis Genge will start for Bristol in this Friday’s Ashton Gate west country derby versus Bath. A club statement read: “Ellis Genge will make his hometown return when Bristol Bears take on rivals Bath at Ashton Gate on the opening night of the new Gallagher Premiership season.

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“The Bristolian prop starts in the front row alongside England teammate Kyle Sinckler and hooker Bryan Byrne, while Joe Joyce returns from injury to partner Chris Vui in the engine room. Jake Heenan captains the side this week in the absence of Steven Luatua, while Magnus Bradbury is set for his first competitive appearance for the club at number eight alongside recent England call-up Sam Jeffries.

“Harry Randall and Callum Sheedy are the half-backs, with Sam Bedlow and Piers O’Conor lining up in the midfield. Charles Piutau, Rich Lane and Luke Morahan complete the starting XV. Elsewhere, AJ MacGinty and Sam Lewis could make their first competitive appearances for the club from the replacements bench.”

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A Bath statement on their line-up read: “After being announced as captain in midweek, Ben Spencer will lead the side from scrum-half at Ashton Gate, in a starting XV that contains four debutants.

“Piers Francis and Matt Gallagher line-up at fly-half and wing respectively. Tighthead prop Aranos Coetzee and flanker Chris Cloete are named among the forwards. Having previously spent eight years at The Rec between 2011-2019, Dave Attwood will make it appearance 158 in Blue, Black and White alongside Josh McNally in the second row.

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“Also in the pack, Beno Obano and Tom Dunn complete the front row while blindside flanker Josh Bayliss and Number 8 Jaco Coetzee are also included. Tom de Glanville will make his 50th club outing from full-back and is joined the back three by fellow homegrown player Gabriel Hamer-Webb.

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“Following a long period on the sidelines, Cameron Redpath is back in the centre alongside Will Butt. Niall Annett and Louis Schreuder will earn their Bath Rugby debuts should they appear from the bench.”

Head of rugby Johann van Graan said: “The opening game in the Premiership is something you relish as a sportsman. I’m looking forward to seeing the players perform on Friday night. We have spoken about the pride of the jersey, and we want to make our supporters proud, and we want everyone associated with Bath to be proud of each other.”

BRISTOL BEARS: 15. Charles Piutau (64 apps); 14. Luke Morahan (98 apps), 13. Piers O’Conor (108 apps), 12. Sam Bedlow (47 apps), 11. Rich Lane (5 apps); 10. Callum Sheedy (132 apps), 9. Harry Randall (85 apps); 1. Ellis Genge (23 apps), 2. Bryan Byrne (32 apps), 3. Kyle Sinckler (32 apps), 4. Joe Joyce (151 apps), 5. Chris Vui (93 apps), 6. Sam Jeffries (54 apps), 7. Jake Heenan (c) (65 apps), 8. Magnus Bradbury (debut). Reps: 16. Will Capon (59 apps), 17. Jake Woolmore (108 apps), 18. Max Lahiff (40 apps), 19. Ed Holmes (85 apps), 20. Sam Lewis (debut), 21. Andy Uren (135 apps), 22. AJ MacGinty (debut), 23. Jack Bates (21 apps).

BATH: 15. Tom de Glanville; 14. Gabriel Hamer-Webb, 13. Will Butt, 12. Cameron Redpath, 11. Matt Gallagher; 10. Piers Francis, 9. Ben Spencer capt; 1. Beno Obano, 2. Tom Dunn, 3. Aranos Coetzee, 4. Dave Attwood, 5. Josh McNally, 6. Josh Bayliss, 7. Chris Cloete, 8. Jaco Coetzee. Reps: 16. Niall Annett, 17. Lewis Boyce, 18. Johannes Jonker, 19. Will Spencer, 20. Ewan Richards, 21. Louis Schreuder, 22. Orlando Bailey, 23. Richard de Carpentier.

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