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Where Warren Gatland's Wales are poised to do the most damage

The best single unit in the Wales side is the formidable back row.

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Six changes for winless Bath, including a debut for Ollie Lawrence

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/The RFU Collection via Getty Images)

Out-of-favour England midfielder Ollie Lawrence has been given an immediate chance to quickly continue his club career as he has been named to start by Bath in this Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership fixture against Gloucester just days after joining Johann van Graan’s strugglers on loan from crisis-hit Worcester.

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It was Monday when Lawrence, the centre last capped by England boss Eddie Jones in July 2021, became one of four Warriors players who decided to switch to Bath on loan. Worcester skipper Ted Hill, Fergus Lee-Warner and Valeriy Morozov also made the move, but Lawrence is the only one of the quartet to be pressed into action straight away.

Bath have so far lost all four matches, their three points haul two less than the five collected by Worcester in their three matches before their RFU suspension was followed by an insolvency court decision on Wednesday that made all their players free agents as their contracts were liquidated.

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Lawrence will link up in midfield with Cameron Redpath, the Scotland player who was his direct opponent in a Calcutta Cup game at Twickenham in February 2021. They take over from Jonathan Joseph and Max Ojomoh, who started last weekend’s loss at London Irish.

Homegrown No8 Nahum Merigan comes in for Josh Bayliss for his first Premiership start after impressing in the Premiership Rugby Cup and is joined in the back row by Tom Ellis, who makes his first league start for eight months following injury. GJ van Velze drops out.

Related

Dave Attwood returns to the second row in place of Josh McNally to face his former club with Piers Francis reinstated at fly-half in place of Orlando Bailey.

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Bath (vs Gloucester, Saturday)
15. Matt Gallagher; 14. Joe Cokanasiga, 13. Ollie Lawrence, 12. Cameron Redpath, 11. Gabriel Hamer-Webb; 10. Piers Francis, 9. Louis Schreuder; 1. Juan Schoeman, 2. Tom Dunn (capt), 3. Will Stuart, 4. Dave Attwood, 5. Quinn Roux, 6. Tom Ellis, 7. Miles Reid, 8. Nahum Merigan. Reps: 16. Niall Annett, 17. Arthur Cordwell, 18. Aranos Coetzee, 19. Ewan Richards, 20. Richard de Carpentier, 21. Max Green, 22. Orlando Bailey, 23. Will Butt.

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