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Team news: Bristol Bears 'A' vs Saracens Storm

Shaun Malton makes his return from injury to start for Bristol Bears ‘A’ in Saturday’s Premiership Shield versus Saracens Storm (4pm KO).

  • Shaun Malton returns from injury to start
  • Owsley and Groves included in line-up
  • Jordan Crane skippers the side from back row

The hooker – who has been sidelined since November – is joined in the line-up by lock Alex Groves, who arrivesfrom St John’s College in South Africa for the remainder of the season. Groves represented the Golden Lions XV at the Craven Week.

Meanwhile, Freddie Owsley is named on the wing having agreed a contract until the end of the season. The Bristol University graduate represented Great Britain Student Sevens and won gold in the BUCS outdoor championships in the 4x400m event.

“We’ve picked a strong side for Saturday and it’ll be a great test against the reigning Premiership Shield champions."

Academy transition coach, Sean Marsden

Academy transition coach Sean Marsden said: “We’ve picked a strong side for Saturday and it’ll be a great test against the reigning Premiership Shield champions.

“We’ve had a tough start to the competition, but it’s encouraging to see a good blend of youth and experience in the team and the boys will be focused on picking up a first win at home.”

Bristol Bears ‘A’ team to face Saracens Storm at Clifton RFC on Saturday, January 18th(4pm KO):

15. Ioan Lloyd; 14. Tyrese Johnson-Fisher, 13. Ryan Edwards, 12. Harry Ascherl, 11. Freddie Owsley; 10. Tiff Eden, 9. Nic Stirzaker; 1. Tom Rowland, 2. Shaun Malton, 3. Jake Armstrong, 4. Alex Groves, 5. Aly Muldowney, 6. James Dun, 7. Sam Graham, 8. Jordan Crane (c).

Replacements: 16. Tom Lindsay, 17. Nick English, 18. Jay Burley (Thornbury RFC), 19. Dec Fissington (Hartpury), 20. Max Clementson (Hartpury), 21. Blake Boyland, 22. Chay Mullins (Academy U18s), 23. Nathan Chamberlain.

Unavailable: Yann Thomas (achilles), John Afoa (ribs), Max Lahiff (shoulder), Chris Vui (illness), Adrian Choat (ankle), Siale Piutau (knee), Jack Bates (hamstring), Luke Daniels (shoulder), Will Hurrell (head), Sam Bedlow (shoulder), Charles Piutau (knee), Piers O’Conor (knee), Charlie Powell (ankle).