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Lions No.8 Faletau switches position for Bath

By Sam Smith
Bath and Wales forward Toby Faletau

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British and Irish Lions No.8 Toby Faletau is showing his back row versatility by switching positions as Bath take on local Gallagher Premiership rivals Bristol Bears.


The Wales international switches from blindside flanker to No.8 in a back row containing Bath academy graduates Josh Bayliss and Miles Reid.

Fellow Lion Anthony Watson is also switching position. He moves to the wing to accomodate Tom de Glanville, who will make his return from injury in the 15 jersey.

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Max Clark comes into the centre with the rest of the backline unchanged from the Challenge Cup semi-final.

A replacement against Montpellier, Elliott Stooke partners captain Josh McNally in the boiler while the front row is unchanged.

On the bench, Tom Ellis is set for his 100th Bath Rugby appearance. Another from the pathway, the 26-year-old made his debut for the club in 2014 and has been a consistent performer in Blue, Black and White ever since.

Fly-half Rhys Priestland is also in the matchday 23. It is the first time the Welshman has featured since the middle of March.


15. Tom de Glanville, 14. Anthony Watson, 13. Max Clark, 12. Cameron Redpath, 11. Will Muir, 10. Orlando Bailey, 9. Ben Spencer; 1. Juan Schoeman, 2. Tom Dunn, 3. Will Stuart, 4. Josh McNally ©, 5. Elliott Stooke 6. Josh Bayliss, 7. Miles Reid, 8. Taulupe Faletau

16. Jacques du Toit, 17. Jamie Bhatti, 18. Christian Judge, 19. Charlie Ewels, 20. Tom Ellis, 21. Will Chudley, 22. Rhys Priestland, 23. Alex Gray

15. Charles Piutau; 14. Luke Morahan, 13. Semi Radradra, 12. Siale Piutau, 11. Max Malins; 10. Callum Sheedy, 9. Andy Uren; 1. Yann Thomas, 2. Bryan Byrne, 3. Kyle Sinckler, 4. Dave Attwood, 5. Chris Vui, 6. Steven Luatua (c), 7. Ben Earl, 8. Nathan Hughes.

REPLACEMENTS: 16. Jake Kerr, 17. Jake Woolmore, 18. John Afoa, 19. Ed Holmes, 20. Jake Heenan, 21. Tom Kessell, 22. Ioan Lloyd, 23. Alapati Leiua.


UNAVAILABLE: Harry Thacker, Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro, Max Lahiff, James Dun, Joe Joyce, Harry Randall, Chris Cook, Henry Purdy, Siva Naulago.


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