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TEAM NEWS: Bristol Rugby vs Cardiff Blues

Bristol Rugby get their European Challenge Cup campaign underway against Cardiff Blues on Friday (7.45pm KO).

Andy Robinson makes eleven changes to the side that lost to Newcastle Falcons last weekend, as Nick Koster makes his first competitive start of the campaign.

David Lemi skippers the side at Ashton Gate, while Jack Wallace, Tom Varndell, Thretton Palamo, Adrian Jarvis and Rhodri Williams all come into the backline.

Max Crumpton earns his first start of the season in the front row, while Soane Tonga'uiha, Gaston Cortes, Ian Evans and Olly Robinson also return.

“There’s an opportunity for guys on Friday who have returned from injury and have been impressing in the Aviva A-League,” said Director of Rugby Andy Robinson.

“It’s an exciting opportunity to test ourselves against sides that we wouldn’t typically play against. The visit of Cardiff Blues sees us engage in an intriguing local derby at Ashton Gate.”

Bristol include Academy duo Andy Uren and Billy Searle among the replacements.

Gavin Henson (dead leg), Marc Jones (knee), Ryan Bevington (knee), Glen Townson (knee), Sam Jeffries (heel), Martin Roberts (elbow), Callum Sheedy (hamstring), Tusi Pisi (groin), Ben Mosses (knee) and Nick Carpenter (shoulder) are unavailable for selection.

Bristol Rugby team to face Cardiff Blues at Ashton Gate on Friday, 14 October (7.45pm KO):

15. Jack Wallace; 14. Tom Varndell, 13. Jack Tovey, 12. Thretton Palamo, 11. David Lemi (c); 10. Adrian Jarvis, 9. Rhodri Williams; 1. Soane Tonga'uiha, 2. Max Crumpton, 3. Gaston Cortes, 4. Ian Evans, 5. Ben Glynn, 6. Nick Koster, 7. Olly Robinson, 8. Mitch Eadie.

Replacements: 16. Chris Brooker, 17. Jack O’Connell, 18. Jamal Ford-Robinson, 19. Joe Joyce, 20. Nick Fenton-Wells, 21. Andy Uren, 22. Billy Searle, 23. Luke Arscott.