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Underhill and Faletau combine in all Test Bath back row unit

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

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England’s Sam Underhill and Wales’ Taulupe Faletau return to Bath’s starting XV for their West Country clash against Bristol Bears this weekend.

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Openside flanker Underhill has recovered from illness to feature at seven while Faletau, who starred for Wales at Twickenham last weekend, takes his place at No.8.

Underhill had been unavailable for selection since suffering his latest head knock in the January 22 Heineken Champions Cup defeat to Leinster.

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That injury ruled the 25-year-old out of selection by Eddie Jones for the Six Nations and it was only last weekend following a five-week layoff that he was considered for Bath selection. However, having been named on the bench on Friday lunchtime, Underhill was missing when the game went ahead the following day at Kingston Park after he wound up not travelling due to the illness.

Scotland’s Josh Bayliss completes the all international back row and will captain Bath in the first match between the two sides at the Rec with supporters for two years.

Tom Doughty comes in to start at hooker alongside Valeriy Morozov and D’Arcy Rae. Mike Williams and Ewan Richards complete the pack.

Returning from suspension, Semesa Rokoduguni is back on the wing with Tom de Glanville and Will Butt continuing in the back three. Max Clark partners Jonathan Joseph in the midfield and Ben Spencer links up with Danny Cipriani at half-back for the second game running.

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On the bench, Orlando Bailey returns to the 23 while Ma’afu Fia could make his home debut.

BATH TEAM VS BRISTOL BEARS
15 Tom de Glanville, 14 Semesa Rokoduguni, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Max Clark, 11 Will Butt, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Ben Spencer; 1 Valeriy Morozov, 2 Tom Doughty, 3 D’Arcy Rae, 4 Mike Williams, 5 Ewan Richards, 6 Josh Bayliss ©, 7 Sam Underhill, 8 Taulupe Faletau

REPLACEMENTS:
16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Lewis Boyce, 18 Ma’afu Fia, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Orlando Bailey, 23 Joe Cokanasiga

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