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Tom Tainton

Tom Tainton writes

Posted Friday, November 29th 2019

Team news: Bristol Bears vs London Irish

Toby Fricker makes his first Premiership start as top-of-the-table Bristol Bears host London Irish on Sunday (3pm KO).

  • Fricker set for first Premiership start
  • Piutau, Afoa and Hughes back in the side
  • Leiua is listed among the replacements following knee injury
  • Hamilton set for first Premiership appearance for club

The winger is rewarded for two tries in successive European Challenge Cup fixtures with selection against the Exiles, while Andy Uren returns from a head injury to start.

Charles Piutau (ankle), John Afoa (calf), and Nathan Hughes (finger) return to the starting line-up for the Ashton Gate clash.

Director of Rugby Lam said: “We’ve built some positive momentum in the Premiership and Challenge Cup, but we’re ultimately judged on our performance, so Sunday is a massive game for us to continue the good work so far.

“They will be a big threat and we have to be prepared for a physical battle at Ashton Gate in front of another big crowd."

Director of Rugby, Pat Lam

“We know what a well-coached and good side London Irish are, they’re a different beast this year because of the quality of Declan Kidney and Les Kiss. They will be a big threat and we have to be ready and prepared for a physical battle at Ashton Gate in front of another big crowd.”

Bristol are boosted by the return of Alapati Leiua to the 23-man squad following a knee injury, while Luke Hamilton could make his Premiership debut for the Bears from the replacement bench.

Bristol Bears team to face London Irish at Ashton Gate on Sunday, December 1st (3pm KO):

15. Charles Piutau; 14. Luke Morahan, 13. Piers O’Conor, 12. Siale Piutau, 11. Toby Fricker; 10. Callum Sheedy, 9. Andy Uren; 1. Jake Woolmore, 2. Harry Thacker, 3. John Afoa, 4. Joe Joyce, 5. Chris Vui, 6. Steven Luatua (c), 7. Dan Thomas, 8. Nathan Hughes.

Replacements: 16. Will Capon, 17. Yann Thomas, 18. Max Lahiff, 19. Ed Holmes, 20. Luke Hamilton, 21. Harry Randall, 22. Ioan Lloyd, 23. Alapati Leiua.

Unavailable: Shaun Malton (neck), Blake Boyland (ankle), Jack Bates (hamstring), Luke Daniels (shoulder).


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