OLLY BARKLEY will start his final game for Bath Rugby at fly-half as the West Country side look to get back to winning ways in the Aviva Premiership against Sale Sharks at the Recreation Ground tomorrow, kick-off 14.15.
Barkley, who it was announced last week would be leaving to join Top 14 side Racing Metro 92, has amassed over 230 appearances in the Blue, Black and White, and scored over 2160 points in his time at the Club.
He re-joins Michael Claassens in the half-backs, with Stephen Donald switching to inside centre, partnering Dan Hipkiss in the midfield. Tom Biggs and Kyle Eastmond line up on the wings, as Nick Abendanon starts at fullback.
In the pack, David Wilson is back at tighthead, with Paul James handed the loosehead shirt. Lee Mears continues at hooker.
Dave Attwood makes his first start of the season in the second row, combining with captain Stuart Hooper. Carl Fearns, Ben Skirving and Simon Taylor complete the line-up in the backrow.
Speaking earlier in the week, Olly said: “I’ve had an amazing time here and I’ve made some fantastic memories, played in some amazing teams and met some wicked people, and I leave with nothing but absolute love for this place and these people.”
“The task for me now is really to just concentrate on the game. It’s a big occasion for me and for my family, but most important is getting four points. We need to get back on the horse after losing the last two on the bounce and have been working very hard to right the wrongs. It’s not about me leaving, it’s about the four points, and if I can say goodbye having helped the team to a win, then I’ll be happy.”
15. Nick Abendanon, 14. Kyle Eastmond, 13. Dan Hipkiss, 12. Stephen Donald, 11. Tom Biggs, 10. Olly Barkley, 9. Michael Claassens, 1. Paul James, 2. Lee Mears, 3. David Wilson, 4. Stuart Hooper (C), 5. Dave Attwood, 6. Carl Fearns, 7. Ben Skirving, 8. Simon Taylor
16 Ross Batty, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Anthony Perenise, 19 Dominic Day, 20 Will Skuse, 21 Mark McMillan, 22 Sam Vesty, 23 Jack Cuthbert