Tom Doughty has made four appearances so far for Bath all as a replacement
|Venue: Recreation Ground Date: Sunday, 9 January Kick-off: 15:00 GMT Coverage: Updates on BBC local radio and live scores on the BBC Sport website|
Hooker Tom Doughty makes his full Premiership debut for Bath as they try to win for the first time this season.
Josh Bayliss returns at number eight, with Ollie Fox coming back in at scrum-half and Will Muir on the wing again after suspension.
British and Irish Lions prop Rory Sutherland starts for Worcester after recovering from a dead leg.
The Scotland international is one of six changes for the trip to the Rec as Warriors look for a first away win.
Recent signing prop Valery Morozov is not yet ready for selection for Bath as they hope for a morale-boosting win after a miserable start to the league which has seen them lose all 10 Premiership games so far.
They have also been left frustrated by a combination of Covid cases and on-going injury issues within the squad.
Both the Premiership Rugby Cup game against Exeter and the Premiership match at London Irish were cancelled as a result, meaning Stuart Hooper’s side has had to wait to get back on the field since Boxing Day’s 40-20 West Country derby defeat by Gloucester.
Worcester, who beat Gloucester in their last outing in the Premiership Cup, have yet to win away this season, with their three victories so far all coming at home.
They head to the Rec having never won there in 17 attempts in all competitions and will also be keen to end Bath’s recent supremacy of four straight wins since Warriors beat them 21-19 at Sixways in January 2019.
Tighthead prop Christian Judge and hooker Niall Annett join Sutherland in a completely new front row, with Judge facing his former club after his move to Worcester last summer.
Perry Humphreys is back on the right wing with Gareth Simpson, who scored a try as a replacement in the 61-29 defeat by Saracens in their last Premiership game on Boxing Day, starting at scrum-half.
Matt Kvesic starts at number eight in place of Sione Vailanu, who has been ruled out following a positive Covid-19 test, as has fly-half Billy Searle after Warriors independently conducted an additional round of PCR tests on Monday.
Scrum-half Will Chudley and flanker Matt Garvey could both face their former club after being named among the replacements.
Bath director of rugby Stuart Hooper told BBC Radio Bristol:
“We’re obviously disappointed to have cancelled the games but the players are much better now and people have completed their isolation periods, and in the next few days we should have everyone from a Covid perspective back on deck.
“It’s been tough – the way the players get their energy is to get out there and perform so it’s been tough not to play.
“Worcester are a competitive team and they’re scrapping as hard as they can. Both teams haven’t performed as they’d want to – it’s a massive game from a table perspective and for our players to prove what they can do on the field.”
Worcester Warriors director of rugby Jonathan Thomas told BBC Hereford and Worcester:
“We can relate to them as we were in that situation last year. It’s all about fine margins and Bath are not a bad team, they’ve not got bad coaches and they have some very good players.
“Professional sport is all about the top two inches and that confidence, and unfortunately for them they’ve not had that.
“Worcester have never won at the Rec so they will see this as an opportunity, but we’re highly motivated for the game and there’s lots of good stuff going on with our side at the moment – we’ve scored 30 tries at this point which is the most ever scored in their Premiership history.”
Bath: De Glanville; Rokoduguni, Joseph, Ojomoh, Muir; Bailey, Fox; Boyce, Doughty, Stuart, McNally, Ewels (c), Ellis, Richards, Bayliss
Replacements: Du Toit, Schoeman, Rae, Spencer, Williams, Simpson, Clark, McConnochie
Worcester: Shillcock; Humphreys, Venter (cc), Beck, Van der Merwe; Smith, Simpson; Sutherland, Annett, Judge, Batley, Kitchener, Hatherell, Hill (cc), Kvesic
Replacements: Baldwin, Waller, Tyack, Garvey, Lewis, Chudley, Morris, Doel
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys (RFU).