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RUGBY: Webber to make Bath debut
12:03pm Friday 25th January 2013 in Sport
ENGLAND international Rob Webber will make his debut for Bath in the Lv= Cup pool clash with Exeter Chiefs at the Recreation Ground tomorrow (2.15pm).
Webber, who joined the club from London Wasps in pre-season but has been recovering from injury, will link up with Charlie Beech and Anthony Perenise in the front row.
Webber said: "I arrived here thinking my shoulder was all recovered and was in the full swing of pre-season.
"Then a week or two before the pre-season games it reared its ugly head again and a couple of scans revealed it hadn’t healed properly.
"I had to have the operation done again, which meant I missed the season up until now.
"It’s been a long slog, lots of individual weights and rehab and work with the conditioning guys, who, along with the medics, have been great. It was a bit of a lonely existence really so it’s fantastic to have been back involved with the lads the last few weeks.
“I’m chuffed to bits to be getting my first start. Bit nervous after such a long time out, but I just need to get amongst it, do the basics well and build game by game to get back to the standards I expect of myself.”
Stuart Hooper captains the side, with Dave Attwood partnering him in the second row.
There’s also an debutant in the back row, with Mat Gilbert coming onto the openside flank for his first appearance for the club. Ben Skirving also returns at number eight, with Nick Koster shifting to the blindside.
Fly-half Tom Heathcote returns from training with Scotland to partner Mark McMillan in the half-backs, with Olly Woodburn and Richard Lane on the wings.
The duo of Ben Williams and Matt Banahan combine in the centres, with Bucharest hat-trick hero Jack Cuthbert starting at full-back again.
On the bench, Ireland's most capped scrum-half Peter Stringer is in line to make his debut in a Bath jersey, with both Ross Batty and Semesa Rokoduguni returning to the matchday squad.
Bath: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Richard Lane, 13 Matt Banahan, 12 Ben Williams, 11 Olly Woodburn, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Mark McMillan, 1 Charlie Beech, 2 Rob Webber, 3 Anthony Perenise, 4 Stuart Hooper (capt), 5 Dave Attwood, 6 Nick Koster, 7 Mat Gilbert, 8 Ben Skirving.
Replacements: 16 Ross Batty, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Kane Palma-Newport, 19 Will Spencer, 20 Will Skuse, 21 Peter Stringer, 22 Sam Vesty, 23 Semesa Rokoduguni.
NEWS FROM TOMORROW'S MATCH WITH EXETER AT WILTSHIRETIMES.CO.UK/SPORT AND MORE BATH RUGBY NEWS & REACTION IN FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES