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Finn Russell returns for Bath Rugby

X-factor fly-half Finn Russell returns to the Bath starting team for the first time since their Champions Cup defeat to Exeter back in April. 

The Scottish and British and Irish Lions international picked up a groin injury in their defeat at Sandy Park, and Head of Rugby Johann van Graan has said he would only return ‘when ready’.

Russell reunites with scrum-half Ben Spencer for the clash against Newcastle Falcons. Elsewhere in the backline, Cam Redpath and Ollie Lawrence start in the centres, and Will Muir, Joe Cokanasiga and Matt Gallagher form a tasty looking front three.

In the pack, the powerful front-row of Beno Obano, Tom Dunn and Thomas du Toit all start. Quinn Roux and Charlie Ewels start in the second-row. Ted Hill, Sam Underhill and Alfie Barbeary finish off a strong forward unit.

On the bench, Orlando Bailey returns after his concussion. Miles Reid, Will Stuart and Josh Bayliss are the other headline replacements.

Their opponents Newcastle have also named a strong squad, as they seek their first win of the season.

Louis Brown and Ben Redshaw start alongside star winger Adam Radwan in the back three. Matias Moroni and Cameron Hutchinson line-up in midfield, and Brett Connon and Sam Stuart start in the halves.

Up-front, Adam Brocklebank and Eduardo Bello start alongside England international Jamie Blamire in the front-row. Tim Cardall and Sebastian de Chaves start in the second-row, and Sam Cross is named at six. Bath-bound Guy Pepper returns to the team at seven, and he joins Callum Chick in the back-row.

Former Bath man Rory Jennings is named on the bench.

Newcastle Falcons vs Bath Rugby teams in full

Credit: IMAGO

Newcastle Falcons: 

Louis Brown, Adam Radwan, Matias Moroni, Cameron Hutchison, Ben Redshaw, Brett Connon, Sam Stuart; Adam Brocklebank, Jamie Blamire, Eduardo Bello, Tim Cardall, Sebastian de Chaves, Sam Cross, Guy Pepper, Callum Chick (C).

Replacements: Bryan Byrne, Mark Dormer, Richard Palframan, John Hawkins, Freddie Lockwood, James Elliott, Rory Jennings, Oli Spencer.

Bath Rugby:

Matt Gallagher, Joe Cokanasiga, Ollie Lawrence, Cam Redpath, Will Muir, Finn Russell, Ben Spencer (C); Beno Obano, Tom Dunn, Thomas du Toit, Quinn Roux, Charlie Ewels, Ted Hill, Sam Underhill, Alfie Barbeary

Replacements: Niall Annett, Juan Schoeman, Will Stuart, Jacques du Plessis, Miles Reid, Louis Schreuder, Orlando Bailey, Josh Bayliss