Batch could make the top four this season

Finn Russell will return for Bath in their Premiership match against Newcastle Falcons on Friday.

Russell have spent the last five weeks on the sidelines with a groin injury. The fly-half sustained the injury in their Champions Cup defeat to Exeter Chiefs.

Read more: Who could make top four?

The Scotland international’s return has given Bath a huge boost in their top four hopes. Russell has made a big impact since signing in the summer with the club currently third in the table.

However, their semi-final place is not yet secured with the battle for a top four spot the tightest it has been in the Premiership for a few  seasons. Eight clubs could still clinch a play-off place with no one yet confirming their qualification.

There are two rounds left of the Premiership and Bath play Newcastle and Northampton Saints.

Bath have not only welcomed Russell back but Cameron Redpath also made an impressive return from injury. He too had an injury after the Exeter game but returned to the matchday 23 against Saracens last time out.

The club have also received another boost. Their head of rugby Johann van Graan has signed a new long-term deal. It will keep him at the English side until 2030.

He said there is “a lot more to come” from his Bath team.

He told BBC Radio Bristol: “Right from the start, we wanted to show ourselves that there would be clear improvement, from the first Prem Cup game, the first Prem game, the first European game until the back-end of the season.

“The fact that we’ve got an opportunity to get into a semi-final shows that there’s been improvement. Wherever we get to at the back-end of this season, we’ll take our time, reflect and enjoy what’s been a fascinating season for us.”

Download the digital edition of Rugby World straight to your tablet or subscribe to the print edition to get the magazine delivered to your door.

Follow Rugby World on FacebookInstagram and Twitter/X.