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Tom Tainton

Tom Tainton writes

Posted Wednesday, September 12th 2018

Team news: Gloucester vs Bristol Bears

Bristol Bears travel to Kingsholm in Round Three as Pat Lam’s men prepare for a mouthwatering West Country derby clash on Friday night (7.45pm KO).

  • Harry Randall and Shaun Malton set for first competitive starts
  • Bristol make nine changes for Kingsholm clash
  • Lam includes nine internationals in starting line-up
  • Zane Kirchner included in the 23-man squad

Bristol – who fell to defeat at the hands of Saracens last weekend – make nine changes ahead of the Gallagher Premiership encounter.

Harry Randall lines up against his former club in his first competitive start, while Tusi Pisi and Ian Madigan also return to the backline.

Ryan Edwards is named in place of Alapati Leiua (back), who is unavailable for selection.

"We love these games; it tests us a group. When you go away from home, you have to be united as a team and there’s an excitement about Friday night."

Head coach Pat Lam

In the pack, Yann Thomas, Shaun Malton and John Afoa all come in, with Malton set for his first start in a Bears jersey.

Joe Joyce makes his maiden start of the new campaign in the engine room, alongside Chris Vui, who recovers from a groin injury.

Head coach Lam said: “We’ve put a focus on our execution and making sure our teamwork is spot on. Gloucester have started the season strongly so that teamwork will be vital for us to compete at Kingsholm.

“We love these games; it tests us a group. When you go away from home, you have to be united as a team and there’s an excitement about Friday night.”

Bristol maintain a five forwards and three backs split on the bench, with new loan signing Zane Kirchner listed among the replacements.

Bristol Bears team to face Gloucester at Kingsholm on Friday, September 14th (7.45pm KO):

15. Piers O’Conor; 14. Luke Morahan, 13. Siale Piutau, 12. Tusi Pisi, 11. Ryan Edwards; 10. Ian Madigan, 9. Harry Randall; 1. Yann Thomas, 2. Shaun Malton, 3. John Afoa, 4. Joe Joyce, 5. Chris Vui, 6. Steve Luatua (c), 7. George Smith, 8. Jack Lam.

Replacements: 16. Harry Thacker, 17. Jake Woolmore, 18. Jake Armstrong, 19. Ed Holmes, 20. Nick Haining, 21. Nic Stirzaker, 22. Callum Sheedy, 23. Zane Kirchner.

Unavailable: Jack Cosgrove (foot), Sione Faletau (calf), Lewis Thiede (knee), Aly Muldowney (neck), John Hawkins (thumb), Joe Latta (shoulder), Tiff Eden (shoulder), Alapati Leiua (back), Jack Tovey (knee), Mat Protheroe (knee), Charles Piutau (shoulder), Luke Daniels (hamstring).