Premiership: 150 up for Jonathan Joseph as Bath kick off round against Harlequins

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England international centre Jonathan Joseph will make his 150th appearance for Bath when they take on Harlequins at the Recreation Ground on Friday.

The 30-year-old debuted in a 21-0 away win over Newcastle Falcons in 2013 and has been a key member of the Bath backline ever since, earning England and British & Irish Lions honours.

On that cold, rainy day at Kingston Park, Semesa Rokoduguni was also in the starting XV and he returns to mark Joseph’s milestone, taking his place at full-back with Gabriel Hamer-Webb and Will Muir on the wings.

Max Ojomoh at number 10

A position he played for the best part of an hour at Northampton Saints in December, academy centre Max Ojomoh stands in at fly-half due to the unavailability of Orlando Bailey (international duty), Danny Cipriani, Tian Schoeman and Tom de Glanville (all injured).

There is a lot of experience inside him with Ben Spencer continuing at scrum-half while Cameron Redpath will be hoping to impress from inside centre ahead of a potential Calcutta Cup clash with England next week.

Nathan Hughes adds size and power to the pack after arriving from Bristol Bears on a short-term loan in the week. The number eight boasts a considerable amount of experience and joins Tom Ellis and Ewan Richards in the back-row.

Josh McNally will captain the side from lock alongside Mike Williams and D’Arcy Rae is back at tighthead for the Blue, Black and White.

Following his first European start last weekend, Arthur Cordwell will take the one jersey for the first time in Premiership action. Jacques du Toit completes the pack.

On the bench, Jaco Coetzee has recovered from his injury sustained back in November while Kieran Verden is also named in the 23 after some game time with Hartpury.

Meanwhile, Harlequins have made six changes to their side for the trip to the West Country.

Santiago Garcia Botta, Jack Walker and Will Collier form a much-changed front-row this week, with Walker to captain Harlequins for the first time as he runs out against his former side.

There is one change in the second-row as Matt Symons returns to the four jersey, seeing Dino Lamb shift from the engine room to the back-row at blindside flanker. Making way for Lamb’s switch, Tongan international Viliami Taulani starts at number eight.

Fresh off the back of his re-signing announcement, Danny Care returns to start at scrum-half, pairing Italian international Tommy Allan in the half-back department.

There is one further change in the backline, with full-back Tyrone Green – also off the back of signing a new contract this week – returning to the 15 jersey. One of last week’s standout attacking forces, outside back Nick David swaps from full-back to the right wing.

Amongst the replacements, props Jordan Els and Simon Kerrod and centre Oscar Beard return to the matchday 23.

Form: Bath Rugby obtained their first win of the season in Round 13 at home to Worcester and have not won back-to-back matches in Premiership Rugby since March 2021. Harlequins have won their last seven first team matches since their 14-16 defeat at Leicester in Round 10 of Gallagher Premiership Rugby. Harlequins have been victorious in their last three away games in all competitions and have not won four in succession on their travels since 2013. Harlequins have won their last three matches against Bath since Bath’s 41-27 triumph at the Twickenham Stoop in September 2020. Quins have been successful on four of their last five visits to Bath in all competitions.

The teams:

Bath: 15 Semesa Rokoduguni, 14 Gabriel Hamer-Webb, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Cameron Redpath, 11 Will Muir, 10 Max Ojomoh, 9 Ben Spencer, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Ewan Richards, 6 Tom Ellis, 5 Mike Williams, 4 Josh McNally (c), 3 D’Arcy Rae, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 Arthur Cordwell
Replacements: 16 Tom Doughty, 17 Will Vaughan, 18 Kieran Verden, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Joe Simpson, 22 Will Butt, 23 Tom Prydie

Harlequins: 15 Tyrone Green, 14 Nick David, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Cadan Murley, 10 Tommy Allan, 9 Danny Care, 8 Viliami Taulani, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Dino Lamb, 5 Hugh Tizard, 4 Matt Symons, 3 Will Collier, 2 Jack Walker (c), 1 Santiago Garcia Botta
Replacements: 16 Sam Riley, 17 Jordan Els, 18 Simon Kerrod, 19 George Hammond, 20 Archie White, 21 Lewis Gjaltema, 22 Oscar Beard, 23 Louis Lynagh

Venue: Recreation Ground
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: Tom Foley
Assistant Referees: Luke Pearce, Paul Dix
TMO: Sara Cox

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