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Tom Tainton

Tom Tainton writes

Posted Thursday, April 12th 2018

Team news: Bristol Rugby vs Doncaster Knights

David Lemi will lead the Bristol Rugby team out in the final home game of the season on Friday (7.45pm KO).

  • Nine internationals in starting line-up
  • Three changes to side that overcame Nottingham to seal title
  • Sam Graham set for Championship debut
  • Will Capon could make maiden league outing from bench

The legendary winger – who announced his departure from the club earlier this month – marks his final outing at Ashton Gate with a start and a 140th appearance in the Bristol jersey.

Lemi’s inclusion is the one of three changes to Pat Lam’s side, who secured promotion back to the Premiership last weekend with a stunning sixty-point demolition of Nottingham.

Nick Fenton-Wells marks his new contract with a first league start as hooker, while Jason Harris-Wright (knee) misses out.

Chippenham RFC product Sam Graham makes his league debut in a fairytale maiden season for the Academy back rower.

Lam said: “We haven’t done ourselves justice in the last few home games, so we owe our supporters a performance on Friday.

“We’ve approached this last part of the season as finals rugby because we knew if we beat Nottingham and then Doncaster, it was job done. Doncaster's win showed how good a side they are – and Clive Griffiths is a very experienced coach – we’re under no illusions about the work that we need to put in to get the victory.”

England U18s hooker Will Capon could make his league debut for the club from the replacements bench, while Callum Sheedy returns to the 22-man squad.

Bristol Rugby team to face Doncaster Knights at Ashton Gate on Friday, 13th April (7.45pm KO):

15. Jordan Williams; 14. Luke Morahan, 13. Siale Piutau, 12. Tusi Pisi (co-capt), 11. David Lemi; 10. Ian Madigan, 9. Rhodri Williams; 1. Soane Tonga’uiha, 2. Nick Fenton-Wells, 3. Gaston Cortes, 4. Joe Joyce, 5. Ed Holmes, 6. Sam Jeffries, 7. Sam Graham, 8. Jordan Crane (co-capt).

Replacements: 16. Will Capon, 17. Ryan Bevington, 18. James Lay, 19. Nick Haining, 20. Andy Uren, 21. Callum Sheedy, 22. Alapati Leiua.

UNAVAILABLE: Jack Cosgrove (foot), Jason Harris-Wright (knee), John Hawkins (knee), Chris Vui (ankle), Joe Latta (shoulder), Ehize Ehizode (shoulder), Steven Luatua (knee), Joe Batley (illness), James Dun (knee), Jack Lam (neck), Dan Thomas (knee), Aaron Chapman (achilles), Mat Protheroe (knee), Sam Bedlow (loan), Will Hurrell (loan), George Perkins (loan), Reiss Cullen (loan).

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