Bath to host Toulouse in European Rugby Champions Cup opener


Jamie Roberts has recovered from a fractured cheekbone he suffered four weeks ago
Heineken Champions Cup
Venue: The Recreation Ground Date: 13 October Kick-off: 13:00 BST
Coverage: Live score updates on BBC Radio 5 live, BBC Somerset, BBC Radio Bristol and on the BBC Sport website

Bath’s Jamie Roberts returns from injury to take his place at inside centre for the club’s opening Champions Cup match against Toulouse.

The Welshman, 31, will partner Jackson Willison in the midfield, with captain Rhys Priestland at fly-half.

Semesa Rokoduguni, who recently signed a new deal, starts on the right wing, and Freddie Burns remains at full-back.

“I’m confident we can do well,” said rugby director Todd Blackadder. “You have to take every point on offer.”

Referring to the club’s failure to get out of the group stage, he added: “We want to go one better than last year and progress from what is another tough pool.”

Bath’s South African flanker Francois Louw is back from international duty, Zach Mercer is at eight and Tom Ellis moves from openside to blindside.

Toulouse’s pack features two All Blacks players – number eight Jerome Kaino and tighthead Charlie Faumuina.

Bath: Burns, Rokoduguni, Willison, Roberts, Atkins, Priestland (c), Cook, Catt, Dunn, Thomas, Attwood, Charteris, Ellis, Louw, Mercer.

Replacements: Walker, Van Rooyen, Perenise, Stooke, Underhill, Green, Wright, Homer.

Toulouse: Ramos, Kolbe, Guitoune, Mermoz, Medard, Holmes, Bezy, Pointud, Ghiraldini, Faumuina, Verhaeghe, Tekori, Cros (c), Elstadt, Kaino.

Replacements: Marchand, Castets, Van Dyk, Gayraud, Tolofua, Madaule

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