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Team news: Bristol Rugby vs Hartpury

Bristol Rugby hand competitive debuts to seven players for the Greene King IPA Championship opener versus Hartpury on Sunday (3pm KO).

  • 27 years old is the average age of Sunday's squad
  • Pat Lam selects eight players aged 24 or under
  • Eight internationals included in starting line-up
  • Seven players will make their competitive debuts on Sunday

Head Coach Pat Lam names a starting line-up containing eight internationals for the Ashton Gate clash, televised live on Sky Sports HD.

Australian international Luke Morahan will make his first competitive outing the back three, while Ireland international Ian Madigan is named at fly-half.

In the pack, Steven Luatua is listed at blindside flanker for his debut, while Nick Haining, Sione Faletau and Dan Thomas are also set for first competitive appearances. Joe Latta will skipper the side from the second row on his competitive debut.

Head Coach Pat Lam said: “We’ve prepared for Sunday’s clash with Hartpury with a real energy and intensity – it’s been our primary focus throughout the pre-season campaign.

“Congratulations to the guys that will be making their first competitive outings for the club, we’re all relishing the prospect of playing at Ashton Gate in front of our passionate home supporters.”

New signing Mat Protheroe is included among the replacements, as well as highly-rated Academy prospects Billy Searle and Tyler Gendall.

Bristol Rugby team to face Hartpury RFC on Sunday, 3 September at Ashton Gate (3pm KO):

15. Jordan Williams; 14. Luke Morahan, 13. Will Hurrell, 12. Tusi Pisi, 11. Tom Varndell; 10. Ian Madigan, 9. Rhodri Williams; 1. Ryan Bevington, 2. Jason Harris-Wright, 3. Sione Faletau, 4. Sam Jeffries, 5. Joe Latta (c), 6. Steven Luatua, 7. Dan Thomas, 8. Nick Haining.

Replacements: 16. Max Crumpton, 17. Soane Tonga’uiha, 18. Tyler Gendall, 19. Jordan Crane, 20. Ryan Glynn, 21. Billy Searle, 22. Mat Protheroe.

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