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Team news: Bristol Bears vs London Irish - GP R3

AJ MacGinty will make his first competitive start for the Bears when they take on London Irish at Ashton Gate in round three of the Gallagher Premiership on Saturday (3pm KO).

  • AJ MacGinty set for first competitive start for Bears
  • Ellis Genge returns in the front row
  • Bears have only once begun a Premiership season with three straight wins (1999)

The fly-half is one of four changes from the side that earned a first league victory at Wasps in 22 years last weekend, with Ellis Genge returning to the front row.

Chris Vui switches to the blindside flank and Ed Holmes slots into the engine room alongside Joe Joyce.

Harry Thacker and Dan Thomas are named among the system players after returning from injury.

Bristol Bears team to play London Irish at Ashton Gate on Saturday (3pm KO):

15. Charles Piutau (66 apps), 14. Luke Morahan (100 apps), 13. Piers O'Conor (110 apps), 12. Sam Bedlow (49 apps), 11. Rich Lane (7 apps); 10. AJ MacGinty (2 apps), 9. Harry Randall (87 apps); 1. Ellis Genge (24 apps), 2. Will Capon (61 apps), 3. Kyle Sinckler (34 apps), 4. Ed Holmes (87 apps), 5. Joe Joyce (153 apps), 6. Chris Vui (94 apps), 7. Jake Heenan (c) (67 apps), 8. Magnus Bradbury (2 apps).

System players: 16. Harry Thacker (76 apps), 17. Jake Woolmore (109 apps), 18. Max Lahiff (42 apps), 19. John Hawkins (36 apps), 20. Dan Thomas (110 apps), 21. Andy Uren (137 apps), 22. Callum Sheedy (134 apps), 23. Henry Purdy (41 apps).

Unavailable: Steven Luatua, Sam Jeffries, Sam Lewis, Fitz Harding, Ioan Lloyd, Semi Radradra, Jack Bates, Siva Naulago, Toby Fricker.


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