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Bath missing big names

Newcastle will aim to start from where they left off when their Aviva Premiership campaign resumes against Recreation Ground hosts Bath on Saturday.

The Falcons head south after claiming Premiership victories over Exeter and London Welsh before the break for European and domestic cup action.

And they will face a Bath side shorn of several players due to international commitments this weekend, meaning they go into battle without star names such as Kyle Eastmond, Anthony Watson and George Ford.

"They may be missing some guys, but no matter what side they get out we will be looking to really compete," Newcastle prop Scott Wilson said.

"It's definitely a good opportunity to go down there and get a win at a tough place to go. That is what we are focused on.

"We are very positive about what we've done this week, and we think we've got a really good chance.

"They have a strong pack, but we are looking to match them there and not back down. We are very positive about our squad, and we are looking to take it to them."

Bath, meanwhile, have confirmed that Scotland-born prop Grant Shiells, who they signed from Newcastle earlier this year, is to join Edinburgh.

"It is a shame to see Grant go, as he had settled in well here at Bath," head coach Mike Ford said.

"However, we are fortunate to have good strength in depth in the front-row and so game-time has been limited for Grant.

"We know it's important for him to keep developing as a player, and we wish him all the best with Edinburgh."

In Saturday's other Premiership game, London Irish visit Sale, while Sunday's action sees Leicester hosting Saracens and London Welsh heading to Wasps in search of a first league win since they regained top-flight status earlier this year.

And the Exiles have moved to strengthen their squad by announcing the signings of former Irish and Harlequins number eight Chris Hala'ufia from Scarlets and his fellow Tonga international Opeti Fonua.

Hala'ufia joined Welsh on a two-week loan basis last month, but the move has now been made permanent following a couple of first-team appearances.

"Chris impressed me with his performance in the game against Newcastle, but he also impressed me on and off the training pitch during the two weeks he was with us," Exiles head coach Justin Burnell said.

"His attitude was excellent; he was very respectful of the environment at London Welsh and he got his head down and worked hard.

"His performance against Newcastle was one of the best by one of our back-row forwards this season."


From Belfast Telegraph