Round 1 Team News, Previews And Comment.
Saturday, 13 October 2012
P1 - Cardiff 14-23 Bristol
P1 - Ulster 49-19 Bridgend
P2 - Bedwas 23-48 Bedford
P2 - Stirling County 40-25 Neath
P3 - Swansea 43-17 Dundee High
P3 - Cornish Pirates 44-32 Carmarthen Quins
P4 - Newcastle 52-5 Cross Keys
P4 - Newport 18-14 Connacht
P5 - Jersey 20-20 Pontypridd
P5 - Leinster 47-18 Leeds Carnegie
P6 - Gala 27-23 London Scottish
P6 - Moseley 36-26 Llanelli
P7 - Aberavon 21-25 Rotherham Titans
P7 - Plymouth Albion 22-26 Munster
P8 - Doncaster Knights 29-30 Melrose
P8 - Llandovery 28-21 Nottingham
Pool 1 Bridgend, Bristol Rugby, Cardiff, Ulster Ravens
Pool 2 Bedwas, Bedford Blues, Stirling, Neath
Pool 3 Carmarthen,Cornish Pirates, Dundee, Swansea
Pool 4 Connacht, Cross Keys, Newcastle Falcons, Newport
Pool 5 Jersey, Leeds Carnegie, Leinster A, Pontypridd
Pool 6 Gala, Llanelli, London Scottish, Moseley
Pool 7 Aberavon, Munster A, Plymouth Albion, Rotherham Titans
Pool 8 Doncaster Knights, Llandovery, Melrose, Nottingham
Owen Williams returns to Blue & Black colours for the match against Bristol at the Arms Park.
In the front row Aaron Fowler comes up from last week’s bench to start. Alwyn Lee joins Macauley Cook in the second row, and Ellis Jenkins slots back in at seven.
15 Sion Hopkins 14 Shaun Powell 13 Owen Williams 12 Cory Allen
11 Steve Cullen 10 Joe Griffin 9 Rob Lewis
1 Lewis Smout 2 Aaron Fowler 3 Simon Gardiner 4 Alwyn Lee
5 Macauley Cook 6 Thomas Young 7 Ellis Jenkins 8 Luke Hamilton
16 Will Griff John 17 Kristian Dacey 18 Callum Lewis 19 Dan Partridge
20 Dan Crimmins 21 Jamie Davies 22 Max Woodward 23 Matt Smith
Gaston Cortes makes his first start for the Club and George Watkins returns to first team action when Bristol Rugby take on Cardiff on Saturday
Liam Middleton makes five changes to the side that went down 23-16 at Clifton Lane, as Bristol kick off their B&I Cup campaign at Arms Park.
Ryan Edwards comes into the backline and Watkins switches to full-back, while Jones and Tipuna continue their outside-half partnership.
Mark Lilley and Cortes are selected in a new-look front row combination and Redford Pennycook recovers from a head injury to start at openside flanker.
Rhys Lawrence and Matt Williams recover from knocks to return to the matchday 22 and are named among the replacements.
George Watkins; Ryan Edwards, Luke Eves, Ben Mosses, David McIlwaine
Matthew Jones, Ruki Tipuna; Mark Lilley, Tom Channon, Gaston Cortes, Mariano Sambucetti
Roy Winters, Iain Grieve (c), Redford Pennycook, Mitch Eadie.
Rhys Lawrence, Wayne Thompson, Glen Townson, Steve Uren, James Grindal, Tristan Roberts, Matt Williams.
Roger Wilson will make his return from injury tomorrow as Ulster Ravens kick off their British & Irish Cup campaign against Bridgend Ravens..
Ulster will be looking to improve on last year’s performance, when they were eliminated at the semi final stage by a strong Munster A side.
Head coach Allen Clarke has named a strong line up for the Pool 1 opener, with Neil McComb leading the team from the second row. The match day squad is made up predominantly by contracted and Academy players.
Wilson will line out in his familiar number 8 position while Conor Joyce and Ali Birch have been named at blindside and openside flanker respectively. Belfast Harlequins duo Richard Lutton and Niall Annett, playing at their home ground, will be joined in the front row by Conor Carey. New Malone player Alan O’Connor will partner McComb at lock.
Blane McIlroy and Niall O’Connor will form the half back partnership and they will have Ireland U20 star Stuart Olding and Ricky Andrew in midfield. Chris Cochrane, Adam D’Arcy and Peter Nelson make up a pacey back three.
(15-9): Peter Nelson; Adam D'Arcy, Ricky Andrew, Stuart Olding,
Chris Cochrane; Niall O'Connor, Blane McIlroy;
(1-8): Richard Lutton, Niall Annett, Conor Carey, Alan O’Connor,
Neil McComb (capt), Conor Joyce, Ali Birch, Roger Wilson;
John Burns, Kyle McCall, James Simpson, Sean O’Connell, Michael Heaney, Stuart McCloskey, Rory Scholes.
Bridgend Ravens have made a number of changes from the side that overpowered Newport 42-35 last weekend.
With Matthew Dwyer and Matthew Morgan in the squad for the Ospreys’ Heineken Cup fixture against Treviso, Ross Jones returns from regional duty to start at fly-half.
Ashley Evans partners Nathan Edwards in the centre whilst full-back Jamie Murphy and wings Luke Morgan and Tom Grabham keep their places. Jon Thomas starts in the front-row ahead of Marc Thomas and Owain Lloyd is in for Josh Jacas in an otherwise unchanged pack.
15. Jamie Murphy 14. Tom Grabham 13. Ashley Evans 12. Nathan Edwards
11. Luke Morgan 10. Ross Jones 9. Chris Williams
1. Jonathan Thomas 2. Ashleigh James 3. Owen Williams 4. Owain Lloyd
5. Lee Davies 6. Jonathon Vaughan (c) 7. Arthur Ellis 8. Adam Hillier-Rees
Daniel Suter, Marc Thomas, Alun Evans, Scott Hicks, Andrew Waite, Kyle Barrett, Glen Lewis
Bedwas make their B and I Cup debut when they.entertain Bedford Blues at theBridgefield tomorrow
Bedwas will be lead by the evergreen Deri Mattravers, possibly one of the oldest players in the competition. Chris Bundy at lock and Tom Organ at blind side flanker make their Bedwas debut in place of Kyle Maiden and Simon Grainger who are rested.
Behind the scrum Iain Smerdon at centre and Ryan Owen on the left wing return after injury lay-offs. Dead eye kicker Richard Powell starts at outside half having been a second half replacement in last weeks victory over Neath
1 Daniel Preece 2 Rhys Hutcherson 3 Matthew Pettit 4 Phil Rees 5 Chris Bundy
6 Tom Organ 7 James Benjamin 8 Deri Mattravers(c) 9 Tom Rowlands 10 Richard Powell
11 Ryan Owen 12 Ross Wardle 13 Iain Smerdon 14 Rory Budina 15 Stuart Thomas
16 Ian George 17 Elliott Dee 18 James Thomas19 Sam Feehan 20 Joshua Davies 21 Ethan Davies
The Blues head off into unchartered territory this Saturday as they travel to South Wales to face Bedwas.
This is the first fixture between the two clubs and with both teams flying high in their respective domestic competitions, an intriguing battle is anticipated.
The Blues show several changes to the starting line up as last week’s bruising encounter takes its toll. Ben Ransom, Mark Kohler, Ollie Dodge, Jake Sharp and Darryl Veenendaal all come into the back line and Ben Cooper, Darren Fox and Tom Armes start up front.
15. Ben Ransom 14. James Stephenson 13. Ollie Dodge 12. Henry Staff
11. Mark Kohler 10. Jake Sharp 9. Darryl Veenendaal
1Darren Fearn 2. Neil Cochrane 3. Ben Cooper 4. Mike Howard
5. Alex Rae 6. Gregor Gillanders 7. Darren Fox 8 Armes
16. Dan Seal 17. Phil Boulton 18. Paul Tupai 19. Joe Vandermolen
20. Ali Price 21. Ian Vass 22. Brendan Burke
Stirling County make their eagerly anticipated their debut in the British & Irish Cup this Saturday against Neath from the Welsh Premiership.
Stirling County’s Head Coach Graeme Young said “we are all excited about the new challenges that the British and Irish Cup will bring and look forward to our first outing against Neath. We will be using these cross-border matches to help develop
Neath RFC are pleased to confirm that, despite speculation, Patrick Horgan will be staying at The Gnoll as head coach.
A clear way forward has been established to progress matters which are crucial to the future of the club, and Horgan will be in charge of preparations and accompany the team to Scotland for Saturday's British and Irish Cup tie at Stirling County.
Neither club nor coach will be making further comment on this matter.
Horgan said: “This is the chance for us to kick-start our season. We want to get back to winning ways as quickly as possible.
“The British and Irish Cup is a special competition for us. It’s the biggest competition that some of these boys have ever played in. We don’t take any games lightly and it’ll be a tough challenge up there. We’re all looking forward to it.”
Neath RFC assistant coach Leigh Davies adds: “It’s a fresh challenge and it will give us a different environment from the Welsh leagues - different style of play, different referees, different interpretations.
It’ll be a good exercise for us as a group to go away and be in each other’s company. We didn’t have a great pre-season together so this will be a bit of a bonding exercise where we go away, play a team we don’t know and enjoy each other’s company
15 David Langdon; 14 Elliot Jones, 13 Ryan Evans, 12 Kyle Davies, 11 Gareth King
10 Jonny Davies, 9 Chris Morgans;
1 Nicky Downs (captain), 2 Aled Williams, 3 James Reeves; 4 Jonny Griffiths,
5 Lee Williams; 6 Leon Ward, 8 Rhys Jones, 7 Emyr Williams
16 Owain Ford, 17 Rhodri Clancy, 18 Alun Wyn Davies, 19 Euros Evans
20 Matthew Rees, 21 Ben Jones, 22 Kevin James
As Swansea look keenly toward the opening fixture of this season's BIC competition, Ian Hopkins, Team Manager at Swansea Rugby Club, said:“Our coaches are upbeat but we really need a victory to go with our performances and hopefully this weekend we can achieve that, and made the best possible start to our British and Irish Cup campaign.”
15 Nicky J Thomas 14 Lewis Harrhy 13 Aled Jenkins 12 Ben Roberts 11 Richard Williams
10 Cameron Clement 9 Jon Preddy
1 Nicky Smith 2 Andrew Littlehales 3 Ian Williams 4 Jon Barley
5 David Blyth 6 James McKenna 7 James Bija 8 Steffan Jones
16 Scott Otten 17 Aled Mason 18 Nicky Thomas 19 Ben Fox
20 TBC 21 Aled Lewis 22 Nicky Harwood 23 Dan Baker
Dundee have Robbie Lavery back after recovering from a broken hand and Neil Dymock who has made his way back into the squad after a rigorous rehab programme.
Head Coach: Ian Rankin said “It would be fair to say that our preparation for our very first venture in the B&I Cup could have been better with our playing resources having been stretched to the limit over the last 6 weeks.
Having worked so hard to qualify we leave for Swansea proud to be representing Scottish Club Rugby in this cross border competition and determined to create an upset against one of the iconic Welsh club sides”
15.Jamie Urquhart 14.Andy McLean 13.Harry Duthie (Capt) 12.Robbie Lavery
11.Taylor Paris 10.Brandyn Laursen 9.Andy Dymock
1.Steve Longwell 2.Darell Russel 3.Alan Brown 4.Andy Linton
5.Richie Hawkins 6.Chris Cumming 7.Iain Wilson 8.Richie McIver
16.Dave Curry 17.Gav Robertson 18.Neil Dymock 19.Jamie Morrison
20.Stewart Walker 21.Jack Steele 22.Callum Bowie
Newcastle Falcons ring the changes for this clash with Cross Keys at Kingston Park
Exciting academy products Zach Kibirige and Scott Wilson are handed debuts, while new addition Warren Fury also gets the nod at scrum-half.
After a string of A League outings Alex Tait pulls on the No. 15 jersey, with Pacific Islanders Suka Hufanga and Jamie Helleur forming an intriguing partnership at the heart of the backline.
Fijian international Waisea Luveniyali has a chance to impress at fly-half, while Kibirige and Michael Tait occupy both wings.
In the pack Grant Shiells and Matt Thompson keep their place in the front-row alongside debutant Scott Wilson.
Meanwhile his namesake Mark Wilson gets a starting berth after coming off the bench to score two tries against Moseley last week.
Sean Tomes and Scott MacLeod provide the power in the engine room, and Taiasina Tu’ifua is the driving force in the back-row. Will Welch skippers the side as the Falcons launch their British and Irish Cup campaign following six out of six wins in the RFU Championship.
“We have named a younger side than before, but it is an exciting side and I am really looking forward to seeing these guys in action,” said director of rugby Dean Richards.
He added: “We have seen footage of Cross Keys, and they are a good side who like to play an expansive style of rugby.
“The strength in depth within their squad is probably higher than some of the teams in the Championship so it will be a tough game for us.”
15 Alex Tait, 14 Michael Tait, 13 Suka Hufanga, 12 Jamie Helleur, 11 Zach Kibirige
10 Waisea Luveniyali, 9 Warren Fury
1 Grant Shiells, 2 Matt Thompson, 3 Scott Wilson, 4 Sean Tomes, 5 Scott MacLeod
6 Mark Wilson, 7 Will Welch (c), 8 Taiasina Tu’ifua
16 Michael Mayhew, 17 James Hall, 18 James Hudson, 19 Chris York
20 Jordi Pasqualin, 21 Joel Hodgson, 22 James Fitzpatrick
Cross Keys could not have been given a more difficult challenge than the one they face on Saturday in their bid to go one better than last season, when they were beaten in the final by Munster at Musgrave Park.
Keys have announced four changes from the side that started against Cardiff last week. In come Luke Williams and Rhys Dyer in the backs in place of Aled James and Ryan James respectively.
In the pack the two flankers are changed with Rhys Peebles replacing Jamie Sollis at blindside whilst Dragons openside, Nic Cudd will make his debut for the club in place of Gerwyn Price. The team will be captained by Rhys Dyer with skipper Rob Nash approaching the end of his ban.
15 Gareth David 14 Elliot Jones 13 Luke Williams 12 Luke Ford 11 Nathan Trowbridge
10 Dean Gunter 9 Rhys Dyer (c);
1 Anthony Lott 2 Garry Horrigan 3 Craig Gould 4 Danny Hodge
5 Ollie Hodge 6 Rhys Peebles7 Nic Cudd 8 Adam Powell
Replacements: Gerwyn Price, Marc Jones, Jamie Sollis, Sean Higgins, Ryan James, Jonathan Lewis, Dorian Jones.
Saturday sees Newport RFC once again in the B&IC. In the past they have had some success and there have been some outstanding matches.
Newport have not had the start to the season that they would have liked but in spite of crippling injuries the team is showing signs of getting some form.
The Black & Ambers have serious problems at prop and back row. 5 props are not available - 3 due to injury, 1 suspended and rising star Alex Jeffries not allowed to play in the front row under B&IC rules due to his age of only 17yrs.
Newport have brought in former Pontypool props Jamie Jeune and Dan Mathews and back row Brendan Lampitt (ex-Bedwas).
The selectors also spring a few surprises with scrum-half Jamie Leadbeater starting at full-back and Premier League leading try scorer Elliot Frewen on the bench. The match could see 4 players making their debuts for the Black & Ambers.
J Leadbeater, A Hewitt, G O'Driscoll, W Richards, T Chavhanga,
Hancock, R Downes, N Williams, A Brown, T Ryan
R Jones, A Frampton, S Waldron, C Attwell (capt), R Coombs.
J Jeune, D Mathews, D Rosser, B Lampitt, A Awcock, E Frewen, A Quick
Referee : Greg MacDonald.
This weekend is an historical one for Connacht Rugby as they send two teams into European Rugby terrain.
While the senior squad are en route to Parma to take on Zebre in round one of the Heineken Cup, the Connacht Eagles will face Newport RFC
The Connacht team contains some well-known names in the starting XV. Conor Finn was part of the Irish under 20's squad that finished 5th in the Junior World Championship in South Africa during the summer.
He is joined in the centre by Tadhg Leader who is in year 2 of the Connacht Academy. Matt Healy who this season joined the club from Lansdowne RFC starts on the wing along with 22 year old James Loxton who played with the senior team in Glasgow last month in the RaboDirect PRO12 .
Scrum half Marcus Walsh played with the Connacht U20s last season and was recently contracted to the Connacht Academy.
Flanker and former Munster Academy Player of the Year Eoghan Grace will captain the side.
Grace joined Connacht last season from the Exeter Chiefs and was a member of the Ireland 7's side that travelled to the 2009 World Cup in Dubai. He was also a member of Eric Elwood's famous U20 grand slam winning team.
Grace is joined in the back row by Dave Heffernan who is a former Irish U20's International. Heffernan made his senior debut against the Scarlets last season. 20 year old Jonathan Gardiner will start at number 8. Originally from Wales, but with Irish parents, Gardiner joined the Connacht Academy during the summer.
15 Shane Layded 14 James Loxton 13 Conor Finn 12 Tadhg Leader
11 Matt Healy 10 Jack Carty 9 Marcus Walsh
1 Brett Wilkinson 2 Jason Harris-Wright 3 JP Cooney 4 Mick Kearney
5 Danny Qualter 6 Dave Heffernan 7 Eoghan Grace (captain) 8 Jonathan Gardiner
16 Kevin O'Byrne 17 Peter Reilly 18 Ultane Dillane 19 Aaron Conneely
20 Mark Dolan 21 Darragh Leader 22 Steve Macauley
Tight-head prop Jon Brennan and teenage lock James Voss are in line for their first appearances of the season as Jersey take on Pontypridd tomorrow at St Peter
The Islanders, looking for the first win of the current campaign after a tough start to life in the RFU Championship, are fielding a strong line-up for the British & Irish Cup tie against the visitors from the Rhondda Valley.
Among the replacements are Brennan, Jersey’s longest-serving player, who has spent 10 months on the sidelines after damaging his knee against Coventry in December; and Voss, 18, who made four appearances last season and signed a full-time contract in the summer.
In the starting XV, 37-year-old Player-Coach Ben Evans is rested against his fellow countrymen, with James Gethings wearing the number 3 shirt alongside hooker Dave Felton and loose-head Sean McCarthy. Paul Rodgers makes his first start since returning from injury, and the dislocated shoulder suffered by Talite Vaioleti in training this week sees Dave Markham come into the pack.
Nicky Griffiths and Mike Le Bourgeois remain in the half-back positions, while Ashley Maggs partners Dai Bishop in the centre.
Both Bishop and Griffiths formerly played for the Dragons in Wales, and will be well-known to the visiting fans – who are expected to be present in large numbers – along with ex-Wales and Ospreys full-back Barry Davies.
Jersey’s man-of-the-match in last weekend’s defeat at Nottingham, Ed Dawson, starts on the wing along with Ed Tellwright.
Barry Davies, Ed Tellwright, Dai Bishop, Ashley Maggs, Ed Dawson,
Mike Le Bourgeois, Nicky Griffiths; Sean McCarthy, Dave Felton, James Gethings
Nathan Hannay (Capt), Paul Rodgers, Dave Markham, Kingsley Lang, Guy Thompson.
Richard Barrington, Jon Brennan, Rob Anderson, James Voss, Dave McCormack
Donovan Sanders, James Copsey.
Pontypridd and Jersey have had contrasting fortunes in their respective leagues so far.
Ponty have won six out of six and Jersey lhave lost six out of six, going down to defeat against formidable opponents in Cornish Pirates, Leeds, Moseley, Rotherham Titans, Bedford Blues and Nottingham.
Out of contention for Pontypridd are winger Owen Jenkins with ankle ligament damage, centre Gavin Dacey with a fractured hand, scrum half Gareth James with a hamstring strain and locks Dafydd Davies and Cory Hill with hamstring and shoulder strains respectively.
Full back Adam Thomas and flanker Rhys Shellard are away with the Wales Sevens squad, and scrum half Lewis Jones on senior duty with the Blues.
Having utilised a policy of squad rotation through the first six weeks of the season, Ponty again make nine changes from the starting line up that secured a home bonus point win over Swansea last Saturday.
Powerhouse centre Gary Williams claims a place in the team as does scrum half Carl Thomas having just returned from honeymoon. The key back row selection sees Ed Siggery retain the blind side flanker berth following his most recent man of the match display, with Wayne O’Connor returning as open side and Jake Thomas taking over the no8 role.
15.Geraint Walsh. 14.Lewis I Williams. 13.Dafydd Lockyer. 12.Gary Williams.
11.Owen Williams. 10.Dai Flanagan. 9.Carl Thomas.
1.Scott Roberts. 2.Huw Dowden. 3.Pat Palmer. 4.Craig Locke
5.Chris Dicomidis – cpt. 6.Ed Siggery. 7.Wayne O’Connor. 8.Jake Thomas.
Joel Raikes; Lewis K Williams; Tom Pascoe; Darran Harris; Dan Godfrey
Keiron Jenkins; Jordan Sieniawski
Jack McGrath leads a young looking side which includes 14 Academy graduates in the starting line-up for the visit of the Yorkshire side.
John Cooney links up with Noel Reid at half back, with Collie O’Shea partnering Brendan Macken at centre.
In the pack, McGrath starts in the front row alongside hooker Thomas Sexton and Jack O’Connell, with ex Leeds second row Tom Denton locking down alongside Ben Marshall.
15: Darren Hudson 14: Andrew Boyle 13: Brendan Macken 12: Collie O’Shea
11: Sam Coghlan Murray 10: Noel Reid 9: John Cooney
1: Jack O’Connell 2: Thomas Sexton 3: Jack McGrath (Cap) 4: Tom Denton
5: Ben Marshall 6: Jordan Coghlan 7: Josh van der Flier 8: Jack Conan
16: James Tracy 17: Tadhg Furlong 18: Tadhg Beirne 19: Dan Leavy
20: Dave Shanahan 21: Cathal Marsh 22: Tom Daly
Diccon Edwards has made nine changes to his side to face Leinster A at Donnybrook.
Stevie McColl will captain the team on their trip to Ireland in the absence of Jacob Rowan. In the front row Damien Tussac is the only player to retain their place from the win over Doncaster, with Matt Smith, Ben Harris and Harry Hannan given their first starts of the season.
In the backs Joe Barker replaces Fred Burdon in the centre and Craig Hampson starts at scrum half in place of James Doherty who is named on the bench.
15. Stevie McColl (c) 14. Curtis Wilson 13. Christian Georgiou 12. Joe Barker
11. Jamel Chisholm 10. Joe Ford 9. Craig Hampson
1. Ben Harris 2. Harry Hannan 3. Damien Tussac 4. Matt Smith
5. Dan Hemingway 6. Dominic Barrow 7. Chris Walker 8. Rob Baldwin
16. Joe Graham 17. Lee Imiolek 18. Mark Tampin 19. Calum Green
20. Richard Beck 21. James Doherty 22. Fred Burdon
15 Andy McLean 14 Grant Somerville 13 Chris Auld 12 James King
11 Craig Robertson 10 Lee Millar 9 George Graham
1 Luke Pettie 2 Callum Mackintosh 3 Ewan McQuillin 4 Chris Weir
5 Opeta Palepoi 6 Gary Graham 7 Stevie Cairns 8 Euan Dods
16 Russell Anderson 17 Craig Keddie 18 Craig Dods 19 Bryce Turner
20 Gav Young 21 Kris Mein 22 Danny Owenson
This weekend sees a number of London Scottish players make a return to the side after injury as Director of Rugby Simon Amor fields an experienced team to face Gala.
Simon Amor: "Some players who have played very well for us so far this season have played a lot of rugby and need time to recover. This weekend gives an opportunity for others but it is key we keep improving and progressing our team performance.
It is good to have Mark Irish, PJ Gidlow and Andy Reay making returns to the team, all senior players for us."
Commenting on other injuries in the squad, Amor said: "Dan Mugford and Aaron Liffchak are hoping to be back fit in the next couple of weeks and available for selection."
15 James Love 14 Miles Mantella 13 Dave McCall 12 PJ Gidlow
11 David Howells 10 Phil Godman 9 Ross Samson
1 Colin Quigley 2 Marcus Bloomberg 3 Alex MacKenzie 4 Sam Twomey
5 Tyler Hotson 6 Willie Lipp 7 Ben Lonergan 8 Joe Trayfoot
16 Mark Irish 17 Mungo Strachan 18 Paul Spivey 19 Lewis Calder
20 Richard Bolt 21 Andy Reay 22 Gerard Mullen
The Moseley side shows five changes from last week.
Head Coach Kevin Maggs said “we have several enforced absences, but are also using the Cup matches to try out new combinations and give valuable game time to those in our squad who need it
I am confident in the team we have selected, and am looking forward to what should be a cracking cup-tie.”
1.Steffan Thorpe; 2. Sam Wilkes; 3. Chaz Meddick; 4.Liam Mather;
5.Buster Lawrence; 6. Nigel Burrows; 7.Oliver Robinson; 8. Ben Pienaar;
9. Sam Brown; 10. Brad Davies; 11 Brad Hunt; 12. Anthony Carter
13. Greg King; 14. Simon Hunt; 15.Billy Robinson
16. David Hilton;17. Adam Caves; 18. Neil Mason; 19.Matt Lowcock;
20. Oliver Thomas; 21.Ryan Glynn; 22. Anders Mogenson
Former Osprey Gareth Owen makes his long awaited come back at inside centre for Llanelli at Moseley.
Also returning to Captain the team will be dynamic hooker Craig Hawkins and inform young forward Lewis Rawlins who wears the number 7 jersey.
Everyone in the Region welcomes Argentinian Tomas Vallejos who starts at flanker. After facing the All Blacks last week
15 Steffan Hughes14. Kristian Phillips 13 Nic Reynolds 12 Gareth Owen
11 Bowdy Davies 10 Owen Williams 9 Justin James
1 Rhys Thomas 2 Craig Hawkins (capt) 3 Sean McDonnell-Roberts 4 Jake Ball
5 Nathan White 6 Tomas Vallejos 7 Lewis Rawlins 8 Ed Price
16 Tom Sloane 17 Tomos Wilson 18 Jamie Kijaks 19 Duane Eager
20 Nathan Hart 21Johnny Lewis 22 Chris Keenan.
Aberavon take a break from the Principality Premiership for the next fortnight as they enter the British & Irish Cup.
The Wizards open their campaign by welcoming RFU Championship side Rotherham Titans to the Talbot Athletic Groundon Saturday.
Ricky Thomas; Richard Thomas, Ben John, Matthew Jenkins
Stefan Andrews; Jamie Davies, Joe Heatley; Rowan Jenkins, Evan Yardley
Andrew Clatworthy, Rhydian Gierat, Ian Moore, Lee Purnell, Morgan Allen, Nathan Brown.
Jonathan Phillips, Nic Damjanovic, Ieuan Davies, Ben Thomas, Darryl Thomas, Chris John, Neil White.
Titans selection has been somewhat hampered for the Aberavon clash, with no less than 10 players unavailable for selection due to injury.
Rotherham Titans are determined to make their mark in this season’s competition and feel with the added depth within their squad this term, reaching the latter stages of the Cup is a realistic aim and one they aspire to.
Titans Head Coach Andre Bester said ahead of the match, “One of our goals this season is to progress deep into the latter stages of the British & Irish Cup. We feel that the depth we now have in the squad is sufficient to mount a serious effort on the competition. Despite the squad suffering from a huge amount of injuries at the moment, we feel the team selected highlights the quality and depth we have right now.
“I’m delighted that the Mulchrone brothers have now overcome their injury problems and they will get the opportunity to demonstrate what good players they are. Fergus has been injured for a long time and he’s very eager to get back out there and show everyone just what he can do. Charlie was very instrumental at Macclesfield and I rate him very highly as does his peers.
Aberavon has always been a powerhouse club within Wales and they have an exceptional rugby tradition. We expect a complete confrontational style from them, which they are good at. They have a dominant pack of forwards, their set-piece will be solid and they will test us from all over the park.”
15 Mike Whitehead, 14 Ed Styles, 13 Fergus Mulchrone, 12 Eamonn Sheridan,
11 Mike Doneghan, 10 James McKinney, 9 Charlie Mulchrone
1 Marshall Gadd, 2 Jan Francois Bester, 3 Gareth Denman, 4 Toby Freeman
5 Dan Sanderson, 6 Nile Dacres, 7 Joe Ellyatt, 8 Rory Pitman (Capt.).
16 Ted Stagg, 17 Ross Davies, 18 Jamie Kilbane, 19 Alex Rieder
20 Carl Kirwan, 21 Lee Blackett, 22 Jimmy Williams.
Albion go into this cup match keen to bounce back from last week’s defeat at Bedford and maintain their 100 per cent home record this season.
Head coach Nat Saumi expects his side will face a tough challenge this weekend from their Irish visitors.
“We are playing against the defending champions, so it will be tough,” he said.
“But we are trying to play well at home and keep Brickfields as a really hard place for away teams to come.”
Current internationals Aaron Carpenter and Rupeni Nasiga return to Albion’s team for the game, while there are first starts of the season for club record holder Keni Fisilau, hooker Tom Cowan-Dickie and flanker Sam Matavesi.
15 Henry Slade 14 Lewis Warner 13 Toby Howley-Berridge 12 Keni Fisilau
11 Jack Arnott 10 Paul Roberts 9 Ruairi Cushion
1 Jack Andrew 2 Tom Cowan-Dickie 3 David Morton 4 Brett Beukeboom
5 Rupeni Nasiga 6 Sean Michael-Stephen (capt) 7 Sam Matavesi 8 Aaron Carpenter
16 Joe Bartlett 17 Paul Bailey 18 Wayne Sprangle 19 Ben Rogers
20 Jon Vickers 21 Harrison Tovey 22 Sam Jones
Brett Davey has named a side packed with first team regulars, demonstrating both a high regard to Saturday’s opposition and how significant the competition is for the Knights this season.
One exciting change to the starting line up is the inclusion of Dan Smith who is making his first start since the Knights pre-season game with Newcastle Falcons in August. Formerly a lock forward the Doncaster DoR converted Smith to the wing to utilise the 6’5 powerhouse’s deceptive speed and agility.
Another notable inclusion sees the return of the consistent Tom Luke from injury, who will be wearing the ten shirt and pulling the strings at fly-half with Jamie Lennard lining up at full back. Andy Brown makes his first start of the season after impacting from the bench in each of Doncaster’s last four games.
There are two changes to the back row that started against Leeds Carnegie as David Bradford makes his second home start in a row and Andy Boyde is given the nod at blindside flanker.
15) Jamie Lennard 14) Dougie Flockhart 13) Will Simpson 12) James Tincknell
11) Dan Smith 10) Tom Luke 9) Chris Hallam ©
1) Andy Brown 2) Ben Sowery 3) Brian McGovern 4) Phil Hoy
5) Dom Parsons 6) Andy Boyde 7) David Bradford 8) Adam Kettle
16) Tom Davies, 17) Ali Thompson, 18) Chris Planchant, 19) Sam Pailor
20) Louis silver, 21) Tom Barrett, 22) Dante Mama.
15 Fraser Thomson 14 Lewis Mallin 13 Bruce Dick 12 Joe Helps
11 Usaia Kalanafoni Junior 10 Andrew Skeen 9 Bruce Colvine
1 Nicky Little 2 Alun Walker 3 Gary Holborn 4 Ross Ovens
5 Ross Miller 6 John Dalziel 7 Grant Runciman 8 Andrew Nagle
16 Wayne Mitchell 17 Colin Arthur 18 Stuart Johnson 19 Richard Ferguson
20 Scott McCormick 21 Richard Mill 22 Sam Chalmers
15. Lee Rees 14. Chris Knight 13. Matthew Jacobs 12. Jack Roberts
11. Jake Randall 10. Cerith Rees 9. Rhodri Williams
1. Wyn Jones 2. Tom Ball 3. Dean Howells 4. Shaun Jones
5. Bryn Griffiths 6. Shaun Miles 7. Lloyd Phillips (Captain) 8. Luke Kendall
16. Dorian Williams 17. Adam Yelland 18. Phil Day 19. Llewellyn Jones
20. James Garland 21. Mike Evans 22. Sam Soul
THE return of stalwart David Jackson to Nottingham Rugby’s starting team is one of 11 sweeping changes made to the Green and Whites for their British and Irish Cup opener against Llandovery on Saturday.
From the very top down, the East Midland’s club has shuffled personnel.
In a first for Nottingham, backs coach Ben Johnston will stand-in as head coach for Martin Haag for the trip to Church Bank to face the Principality Premiership leaders.
Teenage flanker and Cyprus international Luke Frixou, who joins the RFU Championship side on loan from National League 3 side Derby, will debut alongside Tom Calladine and Alex Shaw in the back row.
Finlay Barnham takes over at No. 9 and assumes captaincy from Brent Wilson for the cross-border competition. Centre and young Scottish international Jack Bradford, teenage fly half Rory Lynn, lock Joe Quinn, hooker Scott Wright and prop Matt Shields are all elevated to the starting team.
Johnston is excited by the eclectic mix that will take on a Llandovery side has made a perfect start to its domestic league campaign with six bonus point wins.
“This is an enthusiastic side with a lot of players who haven’t seen a lot of action this season and who are determined to step-up and prove themselves,” he said.
“And there is no tougher ask than going to the Valleys in Wales to take on a Llandovery side that has made a great start to the season.
15 David Jackson 14 Ryan Hough 13 Joe Cobden 12 Jack Bradford
11 Jack Cobden 10 Rory Lynn 9 Finlay Barnham
1 Matt Parr 2 Scott Wright 3 Matt shields 4 Joe Quinn
5 Nic Rouse 6 Luke Frixou 7 Tom Calladine 8 Alex Shaw.
16 Michael Holford 17 Ollie Taylor 18 Dan Montagu 19 Jake Barron
20 Sean Romans 21 James Stokes 22 David Priest.
The Cornish Pirates will be aiming for a winning start in this British & Irish Cup opener with Welsh Premier side Carmarthen Quins
The Pirates are aware, however, that the game will be hard fought as the Quins, who are likely to include former Pirates Rhodri Wells and Darren Daniel in their squad, will clearly relish the challenge as they make their debut performance in the competition.
For this game the Pirates have made a number of changes to the side that lost in the final seconds away to London Scottish last weekend.
In the pack a fit again Laurie McGlone will make his second appearance of the season at No. 8, Darren Barry will partner David Lyons to form the lock pairing, and in the front-row
Darren Semmens is named at hooker and prop Peter Joyce makes his first start for the club since signing from Redruth.
Two new faces named among the replacements - who are both 19 years old - are full back/wing JJ (Jamie-John) Kilmartin and scrum-half Rob Coote.
Kilmartin is dual-registered with Bath Rugby, and Truro-born Coote is an Exeter University student who has played for Exeter Chiefs in the 'A' league. He will provide cover during Gavin Cattle's temporary absence through injury.
W. Davies, T. Bedford, A. Cheesman, J. Fatialofa, B. Mercer
A. Penberthy, T. Kessell
L. McGlone, J. Buckle, C. Morgan (capt), D. Lyons, D. Barry
P. Joyce, D. Semmens, A. Paver.
P. Andrew, R. Elloway, G. Johnson, P. Burgess, R. Coote, JJ Kilmartin, K. Hallett.
Keith Bond speaking on Carmarthen’s website said “Playing the Cornish Pirates in is surely going to be a tough ask for our Quins in their first year in the competition but I am sure they are relishing the challenge.”
Steff Thomas, Head of Rugby said “This week sees the Quins breaking new territory and taking on cross border competition in a competitive fixture for the first time ever.”
“It will be a challenge both on and off the field with logistics and playing against full time opponents. However, it is a challenge that we are excited by and looking forward to.”
“We will be taking on the Pirates without the following players Kevin Jones, Andrew Thomas, Ellis Lloyd, Rory Gallagher, James Davies and Alex Pickersgill who miss out through injury and unavailability.
However this is where the strength of the squad comes in to play and we certainly won’t be offering any excuses due to the absentees.”