Jamie Blamire makes a first start of the season at hooker for EPCR Challenge Cup Pool A side Newcastle Falcons as they host fellow Pool A outfit Bath Rugby in the Gallagher Premiership on Saturday.

Blamire, who has a total of nine appearances for the Falcons in EPCR action, replaces fellow England international George McGuigan – who is named on the bench after his release from international duty. Falcons travel to Connacht Rugby in the opening round of the Challenge Cup on December 10.

Full-back Elliott Obatoyinbo, outside centre George Wacokecoke and captain Michael Young are the three changes in the backs from the side that suffered a 32-31 defeat to Northampton Saints on October 15, while Callum Chick at No.8, alongside Blamire, are the new names in the scrum.

Bath Rugby, who host Glasgow Warriors in round one on December 10, hand first starts to flanker Ted Hill and second row Fergus Lee-Walker as two of eight changes for the visitors.

Valery Morozov is at loosehead with D’Arcy Rae on the opposite side at tighthead. Max Green starts at scrum-half while Max Ojomoh comes in at inside centre. On the wings Ruaridh McConnochie and Gabriel Hamer-Webb make the XV.

Bristol Bears host Saracens in the only other Gallagher Premiership contest featuring an EPCR Challenge Cup outfit.

Director of Rugby Pat Lam includes two debutants in the back line with Academy talents Deago Bailey and Joe Jenkins starting at wing and outside centre respectively. Scrum-half Will Porter and tighthead prop Jay Tyack also make their first starts for the club.

The 2020 Challenge Cup winners make their bow in this season’s competition with a trip to USAP on December 9.

In the TOP 14, Stade Français Paris travel to five-time Heineken Champions Cup winners Stade Toulousain, Aviron Bayonnais visit ASM Clermont Auvergne, CA Brive host Stade Rochelais, USAP venture to Racing 92, Section Paloise welcome Union Bordeaux-Bègles and RC Toulon entertain Montpellier Hérault Rugby.