RFU Championship News

Friday 30th

30th December 2011


RFU Championship News Friday 30th December 2011

RFU Championship News. Previews of all the Round 16 'New Year' games. All the teams plus news and comment

Friday 30 December 2011 Sunday 1st January 2011
Nottingham v Bristol
Plymouth Albion v Doncaster 

Saturday 31 December 2011
Esher v Rotherham Titans 
London Welsh v Moseley
Bedford v Cornish Pirates 
Leeds Carnegie v London Scottish

RFU Preview
RFU Round 16 Preview

Bumper Boxing Day turnouts across the board produced an aggregate attendance of 17,384 for the division in Round 15 – an average gate per game of just under 3,000.

And more of the same is expected in the next round of fixtures, which starts on Friday with a double bill featuring Nottingham v Bristol and Plymouth v Doncaster.

Nottingham’s recent winning run was halted by a 19-11 defeat at Rotherham and the Green & Whites will want to bounce back at the first time of asking against the league leaders. Each side won two games apiece last season, while Bristol edged this season’s game at the Memorial Stadium, winning 18-15.

Plymouth started 2011 with an impressive win at Rotherham and will look to sign off the year with a victory. Albion have not won in the league since the end of October, but all six subsequent defeats have been against top half of the table sides. Doncaster did the double over Plymouth last season and won 12-3 in a scrappy encounter at Castle Park earlier this term.

There are two games to look forward to on Saturday with Esher, who avoided defeat for the first time this season following an impressive draw at London Welsh, at home to Rotherham, while London Welsh take on Moseley.

New Year’s Day sees Bedford entertain Cornish Pirates in a game that pits second versus fourth, and Leeds could all but confirm their place in the promotion play- offs with a win against London Scottish.

Friday 30th December 2011

Nottingham v Bristol 19:45



Nottingham will be looking to bounce back from their disappointing 19-11 defeat by Rotherham Titans on Xmas Eve.

It was not the way that Glenn Delaney wanted to remember his 200th game in charge of the Green and Whites as the Titans put an abrupt stop to his team's four-match unbeaten run.

"This is a big game," said Delaney. "And we need to show our fans that we are a better team than we were last weekend. We made far too many mistakes and we didn't play like we had played the previous four league matches.

"We are better than that and what better way to show the fans that than by beating the league leaders. We should have beaten Bristol at their place earlier this season. We kept them try-less and they nicked it with the last kick of the game, so, we owe them one."

Full Story www.thisisnottingham.co.uk

The Green and Whites have had a tough festive schedule to contend with, playing against the majority of the teams in and around them at the top end of the league.

An excellent victory against London Welsh was followed by a narrow defeat away to Rotherham on Christmas Eve.

Nottingham’s Director of Rugby Glenn Delaney said, “We were disappointed with our performance against Rotherham. We’d been on a great run and it was a shame that we couldn’t continue in that vein.

“I have to give credit to Rotherham for they way played. They controlled possession and territory very well and prevented us from gaining any momentum. On the positive side, our defence was excellent and we showed an awful lot of character to keep the score close and in the end we could have got something from the match.

“The important thing now is to get that result out of our systems and see it as a blip. With the way our fixtures are looking over the next few weeks we can’t afford to dwell on the negatives. We just need to train hard, re-focus and make sure we’re ready for the next game, starting with Bristol.”

Nottingham narrowly lost at the Memorial Stadium in October, going down 18-15 thanks to two late penalties from Tristan Roberts. The Green and Whites were arguably the better side on the night, so they will be looking to avenge that defeat on Friday night.

Delaney continued, “Bristol are top of the league on merit. They’ve got a very good squad and Liam Middleton has got them playing some really good rugby. As we found out, they’re a tough side to beat, so we need to be back at the very top of our game to get a result on Friday.”


Nottingham have made a number of changes to the squad ahead of the match.

Filipo Levi, who was very impressive coming off the bench for his debut against Rotherham, comes into the second row in place of Craig Hammond, who drops to the bench. Joe Duffey takes over the captaincy and is joined in the front row by Matt Parr, in for Ben Prescott.

Ayoola Erinle’s injury against Rotherham sees him replaced by the returning Tim Streather in the centre. Alex Lewington and Jack Cobden come in on the wings with Andy Savage moving to full back in place of Kieran Hallett.


Matt Parr, Joe Duffey (C), Michael Holford, Filipo Levi, Nic Rouse 
Sione Kalamafoni, Brent Wilson, Alex Shaw 
Sean Romans, James Arlidge, Juan Socino, Tim Streather 
Alex Lewington, Andy Savage

Ollie Taylor, Ben Prescott , Craig Hammond, Richard De Carpentier 
Nathan Jones, Joe Munro, Kieran Hallett



Bristol - Liam Middleton names a virtually unchanged side as Bristol Rugby target their sixth successive RFU Championship win against Nottingham tonight. The Head Coach welcomes back centre Will Helu and gives on-loan Glen Townson his first league start at Meadow Lane.

Jon Goodridge continues at full back, while Fautua Otto – who scored twice in the 26-6 victory last weekend – is named at outside centre.

George Watkins recovers from a head injury sustained against Bedford Blues to start on the wing.

Middleton makes one change in the pack, with Mariano Sambucetti making way for Glen Townson. James Merriman remains captain in the absence of Iain Grieve.

The replacements bench sees a five forwards and two backs split.


Bristol Rugby:
Jon Goodridge; Jack Tovey, Fautua Otto, William Helu, George Watkins
Tristan Roberts, Ruki Tipuna; Mark Irish, Ross Johnston, Jason Hobson
Glen Townson, Roy Winters, Marco Mama, James Merriman (c), Dan Montagu.

Rhys Lawrence, Darren Crompton, Wayne Thompson, Mariano Sambucetti
Darren Barry, Matt Keyte, Matty James.

Plymouth Albion v Doncaster 19:45

Plymouth Albion


Plymouth Albion will be hoping for more Friday night success as they bid to get their season back on track.

Albion will go into tonight's game knowing that playing on Friday evenings at Brickfields has proved lucky for them.

They have won their previous four home matches played on a Friday in 2011.

Peter Drewett, though, has yet to experience floodlit rugby at Brickfields, but he is looking forward to it and hoping he may finally get his first league win as Albion's director of rugby.

"This game has got a Christmas-New Year feel about it," said Drewett.

"A lot of people are back home and it would be a great start to their New Year celebrations to come down to Brickfields and get behind the team for what should be a very competitive game.

Full Story www.thisisplymouth.co.uk

Canadian World Cup star Aaron Carpenter has been left out of Albion's starting line-up tonight as director of rugby Peter Drewett attempts to find a winning formula.

Drewett said this week's selection was his toughest since taking over at Albion. "There were some very tough calls, it was a really tough selection this week.

It is getting tougher and tougher, but that's good. Everybody is competing hard at training.

He added: "We are still at a stage where we are getting to know the whole squad

Full Story www.thisisplymouth.co.uk

Paul Bailey returns to Albion's team to face his former club Doncaster Knights .

Bailey, who has played in every position from 10-15 for Albion this season, will line up on the wing.

It will be the first time the 29-year-old has played against his former club as he missed the corresponding match at Castle Park earlier in the season due to injury.

"I'm sure he will be keen to impress," said Albion's director of rugby Peter Drewett. "It is always nice to play against your former club."

Bailey, who joined Albion after a spell in France, will be one of two former Doncaster backs in Albion's side as Bevon Armitage will start at centre as Drewett looks for his first league win in charge at Brickfields.

Albion have made four changes to their team that lost to the Cornish Pirates on Christmas Eve. As well as Bailey coming in, top points scorer James Love, lock Addison Lockley and flanker Wayne Sprangle also return.

Director of rugby Drewett said: "It was a really tough selection this week. It is getting tougher and tougher, but that's good. Everybody is competing hard at training."

Tomorrow will be Albion's third evening home league match of the season. Their first two proved successful with the side beating Rotherham and Moseley under the floodlights at Brickfields.


Plymouth Albion:
5 James Love, 14 Paul Bailey, 13 Bevon Armitage, 12 Keni Fisilau
11 Tyson Lewis, 10 Paul Roberts, 9 Paul Rowley
1 Jack Andrew, 2 Gareth Evans, 3 Ryan Hopkins, 4 Tyler Hotson
5 Addison Lockley, 6 Sean-Michael Stephen (capt), 7 Wayne Sprangle, 8 Herbie Stupple

16 Ruairi Cushion, 17 Mark Lee, 18 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 19 Rob Dugard
20 Rupert Freestone, 21 Sam Hocking, 22 Aaron Carpenter.



Doncaster - Brett Davey has announced several changes in the forwards to his side to take on Championship strugglers Plymouth Albion.

Young hooker Jack Yeandle’s recent strong performances have seen him rewarded with a starting berth, while David Bradford starts at openside flanker in place of Zack Farivarz.

Andy Boyde is also preferred ahead of Latu Makaafi in the back row as Davey juggles his squad, whilst the experienced Glen Kenworthy replaces the injured Dominic Parsons; ruled out with a broken toe.

The bench sees a first selection for the Knights’ newest signing, scrum-half Michael Heaney. The 22-year-old this week completed his transfer from Ulster Rugby and will be looking to impress in Doncaster colours.

Plymouth have endured a string of poor results recently and now lie second-bottom in the Championship table, but Davey is keen to assert that the West Country side will be striving to get their season back on track and has called the clash a ‘high priority’.

The Welshman said: “We’ve decided to travel the day before the game to avoid fatigue. We’re keen to build on the result against Leeds and learn lessons from it – Plymouth will be looking to turn things around.”

Doncaster’s Boxing Day draw with Leeds was a bittersweet result for the club and although the DOR credited his side’s strong defensive rugby, he was not pleased with their lack of penetrative attacking play.

“We just didn’t play with any endeavour or move the ball around well enough. The occasion seemed to get to some of the players and we took the easy option too many times. But we did have a brand-new fly-half (man of the match Fred Burdon) who was untried in the position, but did really well. I can’t complain too much as we showed good control in defence and we came closer to scoring.”


Doncaster Knights
15 David McIlwaine 14 Dougie Flockhart 13 Oli Goss 12 PJ Gidlow
11 Michael Keating 10 Fred Burdon 9 Chris Hallam
1 Tom Davies 2 Jack Yeandle 3 Alex Brown 4 Matt Challinor
5 Glen Kenworthy 6 Andy Boyde 7 David Bradford 8 Chris Planchant

16 Royce Burke-Flynn 17 Andy Brown 18 Steve Boden 19 Latu Makaafi
20 Michael Noone 21 Michael Heaney 22 Ben Toft

Saturday 31st December 2011

Esher v Rotherham Titans 15:00



Esher will have taken huge confidence from a far more complete performance and a very strong forward showing in their Boxing Day match with Welsh at Old Deer Park.

Esher were boosted by the return of Harlequins whizzkids Ross Chisholm and Will Collier and it was Esher who had the clearest chance to win the match.

Their scrum was dominant during the final quarter and as the Welsh front five crumbled, Esher Fly-Half Atkinson had an injury time chance from out wide to record a stunning victory, however his kick drifted narrowly wide and the home side cleared their lines for a 13 all draw.

Esher Boss Mike Schmid will be hoping for more of the same when Rotherham come calling tomorrow, but it will be no easy task.

Esher Preview: - Rotherham secured an important 19-11 victory over Nottingham in a tight and competitive encounter at Clifton Lane on Christmas Eve with a Dave McCall try and 12 points from the boot of Garry Law which maintained the Titans 100% home record.

This home record included a 12-3 victory over Esher back in October. The game was played in wet conditions with neither side able to fashion a fiver pointer – the result saw Esher become the first side to prevent the Yorkshiremen from scoring a try at home since the visit of Worcester Warriors a year beforehand.

Rotherham’s win sees them climb to fifth in the table whilst Esher’s draw against the Exiles doubled their points for the season to four.

Esher points came via a try from Stuart Mackie and 8 points from the boot of Mark Atkinson with the latter even having a tough, last minute shot for goal that would have won the spoils for the Surrey side.

Esher will be looking to kick-start 2012 early with their first win of the campaign to help build some momentum before the Play-offs in March.


15 Ross Chisholm 14 Charlie Walker 13 Phil Mackenzie 12 Arran Cruickshanks
11 Andy Wright 10 Mark Atkinson 9 Jamie Mackenzie
1 Dave Millard 2 James Campbell 3 Will Collier 4 Ian Kench
5 Tom Alexander 6 Sam Stitcher – Capt. 7 Peter Synnott 8 Mike Macfarlane

16 Cameron Zeiss 17 Charlie Matthews 18 Chris Goodman 19 Kevin Corrigan
20 Nicky Little 21 Tom Cheeseman 22 Andy Garner

Rotherham Titans


Rotherham Titans are set to name the same 22 that beat Nottingham last time out as they prepare to take on an improving Esher side at Molesey Road.

Esher will no doubt be confident of achieving their first victory of the season following their impressive 13 all draw, away at high-flying London Welsh on Boxing Day.

Nevertheless, Titans will be keen not to become Esher first ‘scalp’ of the season and complacency is not something that the Clifton Lane based side do.

Depending on other results over the weekend, a Titans victory could see them end 2011 in second spot with just 6 games remaining in stage 1 of the Championship.

The two sides have met on seven previous league occasions with Rotherham holding a 5-2 advantage. Despite Esher’s lowly league position, the game is anticipated to be a tight affair. Rotherham narrowly beat them 12-3 at Clifton Lane back in October, whilst the corresponding fixture last season saw Esher edge a narrow 23-19 victory.

Titans coach Andre Bester has targeted 50 points as the mark where he can rotate his squad and a win at Surrey-based Esher will see that target realised. Although Bester acknowledges the task ahead will be a tough one, “The important thing is for us to look at ourselves and get consistency in our performances. We know we have a tough match ahead of us down at Esher and I don’t think their league position reflects how close some of their matches have been.

“They gave us a hard time at Clifton Lane earlier in the season and we couldn’t score a try against them and we only beat them 12-3. They have an excellent defence and they defend outstandingly well with a lot of pride and passion. There is only respect from our side for Esher.”

Bester continued, “Our goal is to get to 50 points in order to give us the opportunity to rest some of our guys who have been probably overplayed so far this term. We don’t want to see fatigue creeping into our players and we can’t afford a lacklustre performance down there.

“We need to be on our game and take the game to Esher; we need to be very focussed. It’s not whether we want the points, we need the points and there’s a difference between wanting something and needing something.

“I can assure you there is no complacency coming from our side; Esher has already shown us what they can do. Even before their result at London Welsh we were aware of the threat they are capable of posing to any side in the division.

“Last week we were very professional with how we went about our job against Nottingham and we will need to be professional again against Esher. That being the case, then we would be optimistic of achieving the result we want.”


Rotherham Titans 
15 Tom Foden, 14 Ed Tellwright, 13 Dave McCall, 12 Pale Nonu,
11 Shane Monahan, 10 Garry Law, 9 Jimmy Williams, 
1 Shane Cahill, 2 Dan Baines, 3 Rob O’Donnell, 4 Barney Maddison
5 Adrian Griffiths, 6 Robin Copeland, 7 Sean Dougall, 8 Sam Dickinson (Capt.).

16 Ted Stagg, 17 Jamie Kilbane, 18 Ben Harris, 19 Carl Kirwan
20 Stephen Hamilton, 21 Matt Rhodes, 22 Cliffie Hodgson.

London Welsh v Moseley 14:00

London Welsh


London Welsh - A depleted Welsh will be keen to bounce back from their Boxing Day disappointment against Esher and in doing so extend their good run in the league against Moseley.

The Exiles ran in six tries in a 41-16 win at Billesley Common in October, and have won their last seven league meetings between the two teams, although the Birmingham side have enjoyed two cup wins at Old Deer Park in that time.

Moseley’s last victory in the league over the Exiles came in October 2007 when they won 40-10 at Old Deer Park.

Rob Lewis and Michael Hills will make their 50th league appearances for Welsh on Saturday.

Lewis starts at scrum half while flanker Hills is named on the bench, as one of seven changes from the side which drew 13-13 with Esher on Boxing Day.

Four of those changes are enforced, however, with injuries to Seb Jewell, Vili Ma’asi, Adam Brown and Ed Siggery taking the club’s mounting casualty list to 14.

Jewell is replaced in the centres by London Irish Academy player Guy Armitage, who made his debut for Welsh last season as a second half replacement in a 20-15 win over Plymouth Albion at Old Deer Park.

The other changes in the backs see Alex Davies named at full back, while there’s a start for Ashley Smith on the right wing.

In the forwards, Saul Nelson takes over at hooker from Ma’asi, while Mike Powell partners Martin Purdy in the second row in place of Brown.

Ben Russell comes in at blindside flanker in place of Siggery, and Lee Beach starts at number seven with Hills named among the replacements.


London Welsh:
15. Alex Davies, 14. Ashley Smith, 13. Hudson Tonga’uiha, 12. Guy Armitage
11. Joe Ajuwa, 10. Gordon Ross ©, 9. Rob Lewis
1. Tom French, 2. Saul Nelson, 3. Shawn Pittman, 4. Mike Powell
5. Martin Purdy, 6. Ben Russell, 7. Lee Beach, 8. Ed Jackson.

16. Nathan Morris, 17. Billy Moss, 18. Gary Johnson, 19. Michael Hills
20. Jack Moates, 21. James Lewis, 22. Liam Gibson.



Moseley make two changes for this New Year’s Eve fixture against high-flying London Welsh.

In the front row Adam Caves is replaced at hooker by Colin Quigley, whilst at lock Dan Sanderson, who was red-carded in the last match against London Scottish, has received a club ban, and so gives way to Richard Stott.

After a disappointing Boxing Day defeat by London Scottish, coaches Kevin Maggs and Craig West will be looking for an immediate positive response from their side.


1. Tom Warren; 2. Colin Quigley; 3. Craig Voisey; 4.Richard Stott;
5.Paul Spivey 6. Neil Mason;; 7. Michael Ellery; 8. Chevvy Pennycook 
9. Ryan Glynn; 10. Bradley Davies; 11.Jamie Hearn; 12. Greg King
13. Brad Hunt; 14. Billy Robinson; 15. Anthony Carter

16. Anton O’donnell; 17. Charley Thomas; 18. Adam Caves; 19. Michael Maltman
20. Glynn Hughes; 21. Ryan De La Harpe; 22. Mike Gillick

Sunday 1st January 2012

Bedford v Cornish Pirates 15:00



Bedford Blues didn’t receive the kind of Christmas present that they would have liked last week, but get 2012 off to a bang as they welcome Cornish Pirates to Goldington Road for a New Year’s Day special.

With Bristol just edging ahead in the championship table, the chasing pack couldn’t be closer with Bedford, London Welsh and Cornish Pirates in second, third and fourth respectively and all sharing 48 points.

Sunday’s game also has the added spice of the Blues being the only team to pick up a win down at the Mennaye Field in the Championship this season – something that the visitors will no doubt want to avenge this weekend.

Looking ahead to the game, Blues Director of Rugby Mike Rayer said: “As has been said before the beauty of this competition is the fact that you can't dwell too much on the past as you get a game to look forward to pretty much every week. And what a heck of a game we've got in front of us this Sunday.

The Pirates in my eyes are still the favourites to win this competition as they have the most rounded game of all the teams, coupled with a nine who has been the most influential player for many years in the Championship.

They are a well coached and organized side who now have great experience in playoff rugby.

We will have to near our best on Sunday as we know they will be smarting from our victory at their place earlier in the season. With us coming off the back of a disappointing performance last week this has the all hallmarks of a being a classic encounter.”

Bedford make a few changes to the team that tasted defeat last Friday against Bristol with Neil Cochrane, Dan Seal and Gregor Gillanders  coming into the starting line-up while Chris Locke, Phil Boulton and Paul Tupai all move to the bench.


Bedford Blues
15. James Pritchard (c) 14. David Vincent 13. Brendan Burke 12. Henry Staff 
11. Josh Bassett 10. Jake Sharp 9. Darryl Veenendaal
1.Nico Steenkamp 2. Neil Cochrane 3. Dan Seal 4. Mike Howard 
5. Alex Rae 6. Gregor Gillanders 7. Sacha Harding 8. Don Barrell

16. Chris Locke, 17. Phil Boulton, 18. Billy Johnson, 19. Paul Tupai
20. Stefan Liebenberg, 21. Jamie Lennard, 22. Ian Vass.

Cornish Pirates


Cornish Pirates - In what is always one of the toughest fixtures of the season for the Pirates, they will travel not just seeking a morale-boosting victory ahead of the play-offs but looking to avenge a defeat by the Blues at the Mennaye Field in October and forwards coach Ian Davies is anxious to set the record straight.

He said: "They pumped us here. It was 5-0 and they really took us to the cleaners. We've got to make sure that the boys understand that, which I'm sure they do, and Dave Ward was talking in the huddle after the Albion game about how all the talk in the Bedford camp is on us now. They will be up for it."

He added: "We have got to make sure that we go up there and do a job because then we have got Nottingham at home and that certainly won't be easy. It's going to be a tough start to the new year."

Full Story www.thisiscornwall.co.uk

The Pirates won a cracking Championship play-off match encounter 31-18 at Bedford last March and a similar result would certainly get 2012 off to a fine start, but there are no illusions that the task will be anything but easy in front of big Goldington Road crowd.

For this New Year opener, the Pirates side shows just two changes in their line-up from the one that started against Plymouth Albion on Christmas Eve.

A fit again David Doherty, who is an equal top try-scorer in the Championship with 10, replaces Rhodri McAtee on the wing, and Chris Morgan returns at blind-side flanker in place of Kyle Marriott.


Cornish Pirates :
R. Cook, M. Evans, G. Pointer, D. Locke, D. Doherty
C. Thomas, G. Cattle (capt), B. Maidment, P. Burgess, C. Morgan
M. Myerscough, M. Smith, A. Paver, D. Ward, P. Andrew.

C. Rimmer, T. Cowan-Dickie, L. Fairbrother, D. Ewers, B. Cowan, T. Kessell, T. Cooper.

Leeds Carnegie v London Scottish 15:00

Leeds Carnegie


Leeds Carnegie have signed of England U20 international George Ford on loan from Leicester Tigers.

The 18 year old joins the club with immediate effect and is set to make his first appearance for Leeds Carnegie in this New Year’s Day game alongside his elder brother, Joe.

Ford, who is the current IRB Young Player of the Year, will be available to play for Leeds Carnegie up until the start of the Under 20’s Six Nations which begins in February, when he will represent England.

Following the tournament the loan arrangement will be reviewed by Leeds Carnegie and Leicester Tigers, with an intention for Ford to return to Headingley Carnegie for the remainder of the season.

Commenting on the new signing, Edwards said, “I worked with George in the England U20s and he is a player with great leadership skills as well as exceptional tactical and technical abilities. At only 18 years old he has shown all the qualities which I am confident will make him an excellent addition to our squad.

“He fully deserved to be named the IRB Junior Player of the Year after his dominant performances for England in the Junior World Championships in Italy. He will be one of our pivots and will play at 10 or 12 and will add direction and influence in the backs. He has a good work ethic and is a great trainer and I believe he will continue to set high standards and inspire our squad as we head into the Play Offs.”


Diccon Edwards has made five changes for Leeds Carnegie's New Year's Day fixture against London Scottish at Headingley Carnegie.

New loan signing George Ford will make his debut for Leeds Carnegie starting in the centres alongside Iain Thornley, while his brother Joe retains his place at fly half.

Will Cliff has been named at scrum half in place of Craig Hampson and Phil Nilsen, Tom Denton and Chris Walker all make returns to the starting line up.

Danny Paul has been ruled out of action after picking up a calf injury in the Boxing Day fixture against Doncaster Knights.


Leeds Carnegie
15. Tommy Bell 14. Michael Stephenson 13. Iain Thornley 12. George Ford
11. Pete Lucock 10. Joe Ford 9. Will Cliff
1. Mike MacDonald 2. Phil Nilsen 3. Kane Palma-Newport 4. Tom Denton
5. Sean Hohneck 6. Ryan Burrows 7. Chris Walker 8. Jacob Rowan

16. Scott Freer 17. Sam Lockwood 18. Mo Mustafa 19. Dominic Barrow
20. Richard Beck 21. Robbie Shaw 22. Jordan Davies

London Scottish


London Scottish will be making their first ever visit to the Headingley-Carnegie stadium and go into this match quietly confident that they can achieve their second away victory of the season.

In recent matches the team have began to build up a winning mentality and will be looking to build on their recent successes.

Since the teams last met at the start of October, Leeds have gone on a near impeccable winning streak, with the only blemishes being a 33 -19 loss away at Bristol and their 9 all draw at Doncaster on Boxing Day.

In the reverse fixture at Richmond, Leeds came out on top 16 - 23 in a tight and highly contested match.

Since the loss to Leeds in October, the Scottish coaching team have been slowly but surely developing the squad with a number of players joining since this defeat.

The Scottish backline has been especially affected by the changes and if you do a player by player comparison between the Leeds October starting line up and the one that started against Moseley, it is clear that Scottish have been building a potent attacking threat in the backs.

Players such as winger Agustin Gosio and flanker Adam Kleeburger who are now at the club have provided a streetwise nous that was maybe absent earlier in the season and this experience is clearly rubbing off onto the younger players in side.

Sundays match will be another challenging game for Scottish and with Leeds recent record, especially at home the Leeds side will go into this match as clear favourites.

Scottish always relish an opportunity to upset the apple cart and one thing is for sure that the team will be determined to come away with the spoils in the opening game of 2012.


London Scottish 
15. Stuart Peel 14. Agustin Gosio 13. Ben MacDougall 12. Charlie Hayter
11. Ryan Westren 10. Dan Mugford 9. Simon Amor
8. Willie Lipp 7. Anthony Andrews 6. Adam Kleeberger 5. Josh Thomas Brown
4. Alex Karonias 3. Aaron Liffchak 2. Tom Standfield 1. Anthony Kent

16. Ross Grimstone 17. Alex MacKenzie 18. Craig McGrath 19. Ben Lonergan
20. Matt Heeks 21. James Brown 22. Mark Robertson