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Sam Underhill shifts position in return for Bath

By Kim Ekin
(Photo by Alex Davidson/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

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Sam Underhill makes a slight positional adjustment as he to returns to the pack for Bath’s West Country derby against Gloucester in Round 11 of the Gallagher Premiership.

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The England flanker, who had a mandatory rest when Bath travelled to Leinster a fortnight ago, was set to line up in the back row against Stade Rochelais last weekend before the game’s postponement.

He takes the No.8 shirt in Josh Bayliss’ absence with Mike Williams coming in at openside flanker and Tom Ellis retaining the six jersey.

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Captain Charlie Ewels and prop Will Stuart were scheduled to rest in Round 2 of the Heineken Champions Cup due to their Autumn Nations Series involvement with England, but are now available to play.

Stuart is joined in the first row by Tom Dunn and Lewis Boyce, with Josh McNally rounding out the pack.

In an otherwise unchanged backline from the European match in Dublin, Ruaridh McConnochie and Jonathan Joseph – who is returning from injury – play for the first time since the end of November.

Bath are 10 points adrift at the bottom of the league having conceded 38 tries with just Worcester’s 50 a worse total. Warriors also have the worst negative points difference with Bath next in line on minus 136 to highlight the massive job new defence coach Janse van Rensburg is facing in a role he has been handed until the end of the season.

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The new defence coach has so far only had two sessions to work with the injury hit Bath squad following his arrival from South Africa and the team now faces a Gloucester attack that can call upon Jonny May and Louis Rees-Zammit, two of the fastest wings in world rugby.

BATH TEAM: 15 Tom de Glanville, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Max Ojomoh, 11 Ruaridh McConnochie, 10 Orlando Bailey, 9 Ben Spencer; 1 Lewis Boyce, 2 Tom Dunn, 3 Will Stuart, 4 Josh McNally, 5 Charlie Ewels ©, 6 Tom Ellis, 7 Mike Williams, 8 Sam Underhill

REPLACEMENTS: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Juan Schoeman, 18 D’Arcy Rae, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Nahum Merigan, 21 Ollie Fox, 22 Will Butt, 23 Gabriel Hamer-Webb

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GLOUCESTER: 15. Lloyd Evans, 14. Louis Rees-Zammit, 13. Chris Harris, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Jonny May, 10. Adam Hastings, 9. Ben Meehan, 1. Val Rapava-Ruskin, 2. Jack Singleton, 3. Kirill Gotovtsev, 4. Freddie Clarke, 5. Matias Alemanno, 6. Jordy Reid, 7. Lewis Ludlow (c), 8. Ruan Ackermann

REPLACEMENTS: 16. Santiago Socino, 17. Jamal Ford-Robinson, 18. Fraser Balmain, 19. Andrew Davidson, 20. Jack Clement, 21. Charlie Chapman, 22. Billy Twelvetrees, 23. Santiago Carreras

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