Preview: Agen v Bath

17th Oct 2012, 14:08

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Francois Louw: Back from international duty

Francois Louw: Back from international duty

Francois Louw returns to captain Bath in Thursday's Amlin Challenge Cup clash with Agen in France.


Francois Louw returns to captain Bath in Thursday's Amlin Challenge Cup clash with Agen in France.

It will be the South African back-row star's first appearance since the first game of the season, following his call-up to represent the Springboks in the Rugby Championship.

Bath travel hoping to build on last week's comfortable victory over Bucharest Wolves.

Louw is joined by Will Skuse and Ben Skirving in the back-row, and Dominic Day returns in place of Will Spencer to partner Dave Attwood in the second row.

Michael Claassens and Stephen Donald renew their half-back partnership, and Dan Hipkiss returns to partner Ben Williams in midfield.

Kyle Eastmond starts on the right wing in place of Ollie Woodburn and Nick Abendanon replaces Sam Vesty at full-back.

Agen, not the force they were in the early 2000s, launched their campaign with a 36-31 victory over Calvisano in Italy last week.

They are currently 12th in the Top 14 and whilst domestic survival is their priority this season rather than European glory, there are rarely easy games at the Stade Armandie.

The teams:

Agen: tbc

Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Kyle Eastmond, 13 Dan Hipkiss, 12 Ben Williams, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Michael Claassens, 8 Ben Skirving, 7 Will Skuse, 6 Francois Louw (c),5 Dave Attwood, 4 Dominic Day, 3 David Wilson,2 Lee Mears, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Will Tanner, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Guy Mercer, 20 Josh Ovens, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Sam Vesty, 23 Olly Woodburn.