Champions Cup: Bath v Clermont Auvergne team news

Jonathan Joseph
England centre Jonathan Joseph returns to Bath's team after overcoming a rib injury
Heineken Champions Cup Pool Three
Venue: The Rec Date: Friday, 6 September Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Coverage: Listen to live commentary on BBC Radio Bristol, BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra and the BBC Sport website.

Bath welcome back two key players for the crucial Champions Cup clash against Clermont Auvergne at the Rec on Friday.

England centre Jonathan Joseph and flanker Mike Williams are both in the starting XV after missing last week's Premiership defeat by Saracens.

Bath are bottom of pool three after losing their opening two games and now face Clermont in back-to-back matches.

"We have to win this weekend if we want to stay in the competition," said Bath director of rugby Stuart Hooper.

"You can put all the permutations to one side and focus on that.

"We will do what we always do and look to build a performance but there is a reality of what needs to come out of the game."

World Cup winner Francois Louw continues to captain Bath in the absence of Charlie Ewels because of a knee injury.

Former Bath full-back Nick Abendanon starts for the visitors, who trail pool leaders Ulster by two points after one victory and one defeat.


Bath: Homer; Rokoduguni, Joseph, Roberts, McConnochie; Priestland, Cook; Obano, Dunn, Stuart, McNally, Stooke, Williams, Bayliss, Louw (capt).

Replacements: Walker, Boyce, Judge, Garvey, Davies, Chudley, Burns, Brew.

Clermont: Abendanon; Ezeala, Toeava, Moala, Raka; Lopez, Parra; Uhila, Beheregaray, Slimani, Iturria, Timani, Fischer, Lapandry, Lee.

Replacements: Ulugia, Beria, Zirakashvili, Ruaud, Levave, Laidlaw, Betham, Naqalevu.

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland).

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