Faletau likely to make return
Taulupe Faletau should make his injury comeback for Bath Rugby this weekend. The Wales number eight fractured his right forearm against Exeter Chiefs at the Rec at the beginning of October. He has been in full-contact training for the past couple of weeks at Farleigh House and is now ready to return to action. Jonathan Joseph (foot) is also fully training but is not quite ready for his long-awaited comeback. Todd Blackadder said: “It’s a boost when players like that come back and bring energy and it’s a boost when they perform. “For them, I know they’ll want to do that. We’re guided by our strength and conditioning team in terms of bringing players back but we want them to be impatient, kicking the door down. “This is what they do and they love. A lot of players want to play and get game time under their belts.” Tom Ellis is likely to miss three to four weeks with a hyper-extended elbow. The in-form flanker was illegally cleared out of a ruck by Michael Fatialofa when Bath Rugby lost 21-19 to Worcester Warriors at Sixways. Jackson Willison has recovered from concussion and is fit for selection. When the Chronicle spoke to Blackadder at Farleigh House there was no updated prognosis given on Sam Underhill, who suffered ankle ligament damage in the home win over Leicester Tigers on December 30. Last week, Blackadder said the England flanker’s lay-off would be at least four weeks. Blackadder said Charlie Ewels is “coming through well” after his head injury against Worcester. As it is not his first of the season he may have to see a specialist and won’t be available for this weekend. Ruaridh Mcconnochie won’t be involved for the Champions Cup dead rubber. The versatile back missed the defeat at Worcester as a precaution after feeling a twinge in his left hamstring against Leicester. He has been de-registered for the competition, with Aled Brew taking his place in the 41-man squad. Nathan Catt is expected to be rested again as he looks to recover from a “stinger” type shoulder injury, but Blackadder is confident it won’t be a long-term issue. Ross Batty, banned for three weeks following his red card against Worcester Warriors, has also been de-registered for the Champions Cup with Michael van Vuuren taking his place. Anthony Watson is targetting a mid-february return from his longterm Achilles injury and, as previously reported, Matt Garvey (broken ankle) and Beno Obano (knee) are both on the long-term injury list.