The former England RL international missed the start of the season due to his involvement with St Helens while a calf injury has meant he has had to wait for his chance.
However he has now been named on the bench as cover for the backs.
Bath have made a total of seven changes to their starting XV for the clash, with Dan Hipkiss, Tom Biggs, Nathan Catt, Anthony Perenise and Simon Taylor all returning.
Matt Banahan also switches to the centres to partner Hipkiss, while Francois Louw moves to the blindside to accommodate Taylor at No.8.
Former England lock Nick Kennedy will return to the second row London Irish.
The inclusion of is one of three changes made by the Exiles, with James Buckland and England prop Alex Corbisiero also starting.
London Irish head coach Toby Booth said: "The Premiership juggernaut continues on New Year's Day against Bath. We have prepared well in the time we have had available and will be ready for the contest on Sunday."
Bath: 15 Nick Abendanon, 14 Matt Carraro, 13 Dan Hipkiss, 12 Matt Banahan, 11 Tom Biggs, 10 Stephen Donald, 9 Michael Claassens, 1 Nathan Catt, 2 Ross Batty, 3 Anthony Perenise, 4 Dave Attwood, 5 Ryan Caldwell, 6 Andy Beattie, 7 Francois Louw (c), 8 Simon Taylor.
Replacements: 16 Will Tanner, 17 Charlie Beech, 18 David Wilson, 19 Ben Skirving, 20 Guy Mercer, 21 Chris Cook, 22 Tom Heathcote, 23 Kyle Eastmond.
London Irish: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Joe Ansbro, 12 Shontayne Hape, 11 Tom Homer, 10 Steven Shingler, 9 Darren Allinson, 1 Alex Corbisiero, 2 James Buckland, 3 Paulica Ion, 4 Nick Kennedy, 5 Bryn Evans, 6 Declan Danaher (c), 7 Jamie Gibson, 8 Richard Thorpe.
Replacements: 16 David Paice, 17 Clarke Dermody, 18 Max Lahiff, 19 Matt Garvey, 20 Alex Gray, 21 Adam Thompstone, 22 Adrian Jarvis, 23 Paul Hodgson.
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