Team Bath put unbeaten away record to the test as they head to Exeter for BUCS Super Rugby South West derby

29 November 2022

Team Bath men’s 1st XV head down the M5 to Exeter on Wednesday (2pm) as their unbeaten BUCS Super Rugby away record faces a traditionally tough challenge.

The Bath Building Society-sponsored side have won all three of their matches on the road this season and sit joint top of the table after a four-game unbeaten run.

Exeter have proven difficult opponents over the years, though, and forwards coach Mark Lilley said: “Exeter are always tough, they play a good brand of rugby so we have to make sure our defence is on it.”

It is a second trip to Exeter in less than a week for four of the match-day 23 who all featured for Bath Rugby in Saturday’s narrow 25-22 defeat to Chiefs in the Premiership Rugby Cup.

Props Archie Stanley and Archie Griffin – the latter having made his senior Bath Rugby debut in Devon – both return to the front row alongside Jasper Spandler, whose first-half hat-trick set Team Bath on their way to a 24-7 win over Swansea last week.

Haydn Barnes, who scored the bonus-point fourth try in that game, comes into the second row, while Ethan Staddon – who started for Bath Rugby in Exeter – joins Tom Cowan and Harry Breeze in a new-look back row.

England Sevens international Alex Clayton makes his first start of the season after a long-term injury, with centre Ludo Kolade and full-back Byron Lloyd-Gilmour also returning to the starting line-up.

Tom Carr-Smith, who scored Bath’s third try at Sandy Park on Saturday, is among the replacements for Team Bath, whose next home match is against Leeds Beckett on Wednesday 14th December (6.30pm kick-off, free to watch).

Team Bath starting XV: 1 Archie Stanley, 2 Jasper Spandler, 3 Archie Griffin, 4 Eddie Erskine, 5 Haydn Barnes, 6 Tom Cowan, 7 Ethan Staddon, 8 Harry Breeze; 9 Elis Horgan, 10 Zac Rodber, 11 Alex Clayton, 12 Ludo Kolade, 13 Louie Hennessey, 14 Alfie Garside (c), 15 Byron Lloyd-Gilmour. Replacements: 16 Duncan Hood, 17 Ollie Tack, 18 Archie McNicol, 19 Joe Badger, 20 Tom Williams, 21 Tom Carr-Smith, 22 Sam Kennaugh, 23 Ethan Hawtin.

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