Butch back and raring to go

Having returned from South Africa on Tuesday, Butch James put himself up for contention to play against Bristol this Sunday almost as soon as he landed.

Keen to pull his Bath shirt back on again, the fly half is comfortable with his fitness and energy levels and will be looking to put in a strong performance in the local derby. Kick off at 3pm.

“It is good to be back in this beautiful city,” said James. “I am still feeling good and these first two games are really big for us, so I was keen to play against Bristol.

“I am raring to go and really looking forward to Sunday.”

Head Coach Steve Meehan said: “A match against Bristol is always special and I am sure that both teams will come out and deliver something worthy of a Guinness Premiership opening fixture.”

Having been used to playing Bristol a little later on in the season in previous years, Meehan reflected on the impact that may have on the mindset: “Having a local derby as your first match may focus the mind a little bit more, but only time will really be able to tell that. However, I am sure the supporters are feeling as excited about it as we are.”

15. Nick Abendanon

14. Joe Maddock

13. Alex Crockett

12. Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu

11. Matt Banahan

10. Butch James

9. Michael Claassens

1. David Barnes

2. Lee Mears

3. Matt Stevens

4. Justin Harrison

5. Peter Short

6. Stuart Hooper

7. Michael Lipman (c)

8. Jonny Faamatuainu

16. Pieter Dixon

17. Duncan Bell

18. David Flatman

19. James Scaysbrook

20. Scott Bemand

21. Shaun Berne

22. Andrew Higgins