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Tom Tainton

Tom Tainton writes

Posted Friday, October 25th 2019

Team news: Harlequins vs Bristol Bears

Siale Piutau will make his first outing of the new campaign when Bristol Bears travel to Harlequins on Saturday (3pm KO).

  • Siale Piutau set for first outing of new campaign
  • Chris Vui comes into side for first start of season
  • Ed Holmes and Lewis Thiede included in 23-man squad on bench
  • Alapati Leiua ruled out for up to six weeks

The Tongan international - who captained his country at the Rugby World Cup in Japan – is one of two changes to the side that secured maximum points in the season opener last weekend.

Chris Vui is the only change to the pack, making his first start of the season following international duty with Samoa.

Alapati Leiua (knee) will be sidelined for up to six weeks for an injury sustained in the victory over Bath.

“A winning mindset is a habit and we are excited about the challenge of testing ourselves against a well-coached side in Harlequins."

Director of Rugby, Pat Lam

“After the positive start last weekend, it’s been important for the team to recognise what we can achieve and strive to raise our standards again. A winning mindset is a habit and we are excited about the challenge of testing ourselves against a well-coached side in Harlequins,” said Director of Rugby Pat Lam.

“Dave [Attwood] had an excellent first game in a Bears jersey, but with a six day turnaround to Sale at home coming up, making use of the depth of second rows in our squad allows us the opportunity to manage the load on some players to keep them fresh."

“It’s obviously disappointing to lose somebody of Alapati’s ability for this upcoming block, but this is why we have a squad of quality players and Alapati will be working hard with the medical team to return to perform as quickly as possible.”

Ed Holmes and Lewis Thiede are listed among the replacements and could make their first outings of the Gallagher Premiership season if they feature.

Bristol Bears team to face Harlequins at the Twickenham Stoop on Saturday, October 26th (3pm KO):

15. Charles Piutau; 14. Luke Morahan, 13. Piers O’Conor, 12. Siale Piutau, 11. Mat Protheroe; 10. Callum Sheedy, 9. Andy Uren; 1. Jake Woolmore, 2. Harry Thacker, 3. John Afoa, 4. Joe Joyce, 5. Chris Vui, 6. Steven Luatua (c), 7. Dan Thomas, 8. Nathan Hughes.

Replacements: 16. Shaun Malton, 17. Yann Thomas, 18. Lewis Thiede, 19. Ed Holmes, 20. Jake Heenan, 21. Harry Randall, 22. Ioan Lloyd, 23. Will Hurrell.

Unavailable: Jake Armstrong (thumb), Tom Lindsay (hamstring), Jordan Crane (back), Blake Boyland (ankle), Alapati Leiua (knee).


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