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Team news: Bristol Bears vs South Africa XV

A record Ashton Gate crowd of 26,387 will watch Bristol Bears take on South Africa XV at a sold-out Ashton Gate on Thursday night (7.30pm KO).

  • Record crowd for a sporting event at Ashton Gate
  • Joe Joyce to captain hometown club
  • South Africa XV include 12 capped Springboks in side

Joe Joyce will captain his hometown club against the touring South Africans in front of the biggest-ever crowd for a sporting event since the stadium’s redevelopment.

The Bristolian lock partners Joe Batley in the engine room, with Yann Thomas, Bryan Byrne and Max Lahiff getting the nod in the front row.

Magnus Bradbury switches to blindside in a dynamic back-row alongside Jake Heenan and Fitz Harding, with Will Porter and Callum Sheedy named at half back.

Sam Bedlow and Piers O’Conor combine in the midfield, with Gabriel Ibitoye and Deago Bailey joining Luke Morahan in an electric back three.

Bristol Bears team to play South Africa XV at Ashton Gate on Thursday, November 17th (7.30pm KO):

15. Luke Morahan, 14. Deago Bailey, 13. Piers O’Conor, 12. Sam Bedlow, 11. Gabriel Ibitoye, 10. Callum Sheedy, 9. Will Porter; 1. Yann Thomas, 2. Bryan Byrne, 3. Max Lahiff, 4. Joe Joyce (c), 5. Joe Batley, 6. Magnus Bradbury, 7. Jake Heenan, 8. Fitz Harding.

System players: 16. Harry Thacker, 17. Jake Woolmore, 18. Jonathan Benz-Salomon, 19. John Hawkins, 20. Sam Lewis, 21. Andy Uren, 22. Joe Jenkins, 23. Rich Lane.

Unavailable: Ellis Genge, Kyle Sinckler, Will Capon, Ed Holmes, Chris Vui, Steven Luatua, Sam Jeffries, Harry Randall, AJ MacGinty, Ioan Lloyd, Semi Radradra, Siva Naulago, Toby Fricker, Jack Bates, Henry Purdy, Charles Piutau.


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