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Borthwick returns to bolster Bath Rugby

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Club captain Steve Borthwick goes straight back into club action when he leads Bath Rugby against visitors Leicester Tigers in the opening match of the EDF Energy Cup on Saturday.

Borthwick forms a second-row partnership with former Tigers player Peter Short who has enjoyed a good start to the season.

Full-back Nick Abendanon, who flew out to provide injury cover in the lead-up to the World Cup Final last weekend, regains the No.15 jersey with Michael Stephenson moving to the wing. Tom Cheeseman, who signed a new contract with the club this week, starts at inside centre, with Alex Crockett wearing the No.13 shirt.

Rob Hawkins, scorer of Bath’s try in the 26-16 Guinness Premiership defeat at Welford Road during September, starts at hooker. Shaun Berne, who kicked Bath’s other 11 points in that game, is named among the replacements.

Bath Rugby (vs Leicester Tigers, The Rec, Saturday 2.15pm)

15 Nick Abendanon
14 Andy Higgins
13 Alex Crockett
12 Tom Cheeseman
11 Michael Stephenson
10 Ryan Davis
9 Michael Claasens

1 David Flatman
2 Rob Hawkins
3 Paulica Ion
4 Steve Borthwick (c)
5 Peter Short
6 Andy Beattie
7 James Scaysbrook
8 Daniel Browne


16 Neil Clarke
17 Laurence Ovens
18 Martin Purdy
19 Jonny Faamatuainu
20 Nick Walshe
21 Shaun Berne
22 Matt Banahan