The Scotland international has been out since May with a knee injury and, if all goes well, his comeback gives him the opportunity to be involved in this season’s Six Nations Championship.
Redpath enjoyed a stunning international debut last year when he helped Townsend’s side defeat England in what was Scotland’s first win at Twickenham in 38 years.
It remains his only cap, however.
Redpath missed the remainder of the 2021 Six Nations due to a nerve-related neck problem then suffered another major setback when he sustained damage to the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee against Sale Sharks in May.
He has worked hard to return to fitness and is rewarded with an outing at 10 against La Rochelle with Orlando Bailey, Danny Cipriani, Tian Schoeman, Max Ojomoh and Tom de Glanville all unavailable due to injury.
Townsend is a big fan of Redpath's and persuaded the player to commit to Scotland after being part of the England set-up previously. He was capped at under-20 level by England and was named in Eddie Jones' full squad for a tour to South Africa only to withdraw due to injury.
Fellow Scotland internationals D’Arcy Rae and Josh Bayliss are also in the Bath team for the match at Stade Marcel Deflandre.