Bath have been dealt a double injury blow with the news that back-row duo Carl Fearns and Ben Skirving are set to sidelined for the rest of the year.
Flanker Fearns is on crutches following an operation on his ankle, while Skirving went under the knife for a thumb injury sustained in training.
Both men have been ruled out of action for six or seven weeks.
With Francois Louw on international duty with the Springboks, Bath are short on experience in the back row, and academy graduates Guy Mercer, Will Skuse and Josh Ovens will be given extended runs in the team along with former Scotland nu8mber eight Simon Taylor.
"The form of Will Skuse has been a godsend to us," said forwards coach Neil Hatley.
"He has done really well and it's been good to see Josh Ovens and Guy Mercer really grabbing their opportunity after some good performances for Bath United.
"These young guys are fantastic - they bring a lot of energy and enthusiasm."
Hatley added that former Stormers number eight Nick Koster, who joined the club last month, was close to making his debut.
"We are making sure that Nick is fully prepared physically and up to speed with all the calls," said Hatley.
"Nick has good hands, is very quick, and we should be seeing him for Bath before too long.