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Burgess to make first Bath start

Bath have confirmed that former rugby league star Sam Burgess will make his first start for the club in Friday night's European Champions Cup clash against Montpellier.

Burgess will line up at inside centre at the Recreation Ground after two appearances off the bench since he recovered from a fractured cheekbone injury suffered during Australia's NRL grand final in early October.

The 25-year-old will be partnered in midfield by Jonathan Joseph as Bath look for a quickfire return Pool Four victory over Montpellier after beating them 30-5 in France last Friday.

Burgess' competitive rugby union career so far totals around 50 minutes, but he is already being touted as a contender for England in this season's RBS 6 Nations Championship.

A week before the Six Nations starts, England Saxons will face the Irish Wolfhounds in Cork, and it is thought Burgess is likely to make the Saxons squad for that January 30 encounter.

Elsewhere in the Bath line-up, South Africa international flanker Francois Louw makes his first appearance of the season after being injured on international duty in September, with forwards Paul James, David Wilson and Dave Attwood also starting following bench appearances last week.

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