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Tom Tainton

Tom Tainton writes

Posted Friday, April 29th 2022

Team news: Leicester Tigers vs Bristol Bears - GP R24

Joe Joyce will make his 150th competitive appearance for the club when Bristol Bears take on league leaders Leicester Tigers at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Saturday (3pm KO).

  • Joe Joyce to make his 150th competitive appearance for the club
  • Jack Bates comes into the midfield
  • Henry Purdy returns on the wing

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The homegrown lock becomes just the 11th player to achieve the milestone and the third youngest.

Joyce is one of five changes from the side that beat Gloucester at Ashton Gate, as the Bears look to become the only side to win at Welford Road this season.

Harry Thacker is set for 100th Premiership appearance, 43 of which were for Saturday’s opponents, while Callum Sheedy makes his 100th competitive start for the Bears, making the Welshman the fifth youngest player to reach the landmark.

Charles Piutau lines up at full back alongside Toby Fricker, fresh from a match-winning double against Gloucester, and the returning Henry Purdy.

Piers O’Conor and Jack Bates form an exciting midfield partnership, while England international Harry Randall is named at scrum half.

There’s also a return for Ioan Lloyd, who recovers from injury to take his place among the system players.

Bristol Bears team to play Leicester Tigers at Mattioli Woods Welford Road on Saturday:

15. Charles Piutau (61 apps), 14. Toby Fricker (26 apps), 13. Jack Bates (19 apps), 12. Piers O’Conor (106 apps), 11. Henry Purdy (39 apps), 10. Callum Sheedy (129 apps), 9. Harry Randall (82 apps); 1. Jake Woolmore (105 apps), 2. Harry Thacker (74 apps), 3. John Afoa (85 apps), 4. Joe Joyce (149 apps), 5. Chris Vui (90 apps), 6. Steven Luatua (c) (96 apps), 7. Sam Jeffries (51 apps), 8. Fitz Harding (30 apps).

System players: 16. Will Capon (59 apps), 17. Jono Benz-Salomon (4 apps), 18. Jake Armstrong (30 apps), 19. John Hawkins (34 apps), 20. Dan Thomas (107 apps), 21. Andy Uren (132 apps), 22. Ioan Lloyd (59 apps), 23. Alapati Leiua (101 apps).

Unavailable: Bryan Byrne, Yann Thomas, Kyle Sinckler, Max Lahiff, Jake Heenan, Dave Attwood, Mitch Eadie, Nathan Hughes, Tom Whiteley, Sam Bedlow, Charlie Powell, Antoine Frisch, Siva Naulago, Semi Radradra, Rich Lane, Luke Morahan.


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