BATH STARTING XV versus Bristol RFC at Clifton

Bath Rugby crestJosh Lewis and James Phillips make their Bath Rugby debuts in today’s pre-season opener against derby rivals Bristol at Clifton RFC (1430).

Lewis, who joined Bath this summer from Welsh Premiership Ebbw Vale will sport the number 10 jersey, while Phillips faces his former club in the second row alongside Elliott Stooke.

Darren Allinson will link up with Lewis in the half-back combination, after rejoining Bath on a permanent contract from London Irish.

Nick Auterac and Jack Walker make their long-awaited returns to first team and front row action.

Phillips says “It will be a massive game for me playing against my old club, who are close to my heart. Playing for Bath now, I want to lay down a marker and show Todd, the rest of the coaches and the players what I’m about.

“For Bristol, they’ll want to prove to Pat Lam what they’re about, so I think it’s going to be a tough game. Watching where Pat Lam has coached before, his teams like to play with a lot of width. Bristol pride themselves on having a big, strong forward pack. In the scrums and mauls, we’ll have to be right on the money.”

Today's derby is the first of three pre-season friendlies for Bath.   

Bath Rugby starting 15 Tom Homer 14 Jack Wilson 13 Max Clark 12 Rory Jennings 11 Matt Banahan 10 Josh Lewis 9 Darren Allinson 1 Nick Auterac 2 Jack Walker 3 Shaun Knight 4 Elliott Stooke 5 James Phillips 6 Matt Garvey (capt) 7 Josh Bayliss 8 Zach Mercer

Ready on the bench 16 Nathan Charles (guest player) 17 Beno Obano 18 Kane Palma-Newport 19 Luke Charteris 20 Guy Mercer 21 Chris Cook 22 Will Homer 23 Rhys Priestland 24 Harry Davies 25 Will Partington 26 Darren Atkins 27 Ben Tapuai 28 Levi Davis (guest player)

South West rugby pre-season fixtures

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