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Tom Tainton

Tom Tainton writes

Posted Friday, October 15th 2021

Team news: Newcastle Falcons vs Bristol Bears - GP R5

England U20s utility back Jack Bates is set for his first start of the campaign as Bears ring the changes ahead of Saturday’s clash with Newcastle Falcons (3pm KO).

  • Nine changes from Harlequins
  • Antoine Frisch and Jack Bates form new-look midfield
  • 11 Academy graduates in matchday squad

Missing a number of players to injury, Pat Lam makes nine changes to his starting line-up for the Kingston Park encounter.

Eight of the starting line up are homegrown or Academy graduates, with a further three Academy graduates among the replacements.

Steven Luatua misses out, while Jake Woolmore, Chris Vui, Piers O’Conor, Sam Bedlow and Henry Purdy are also unavailable.

As well as Academy graduate Bates, Antoine Frisch earns a first start for the club, while Toby Fricker makes his first outing of the season. Alapati Leiua and Ioan Lloyd return to the starting line-up.

In the pack, Dave Attwood skippers the side from the second row, while Sam Jeffries makes his first outing in a Bears jersey since returning to the playing squad after long-term injury.

Dan Thomas comes into the back row, with Fitz Harding continues at no. 8.

Tom Whiteley is listed in the 23-man squad and could make his debut for the Bears from the bench, while John Afoa and Charlie Powell are also in line for first outings of the campaign.

Bristol Bears team to face Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park on Saturday, October 16th (3pm KO):

15. Ioan Lloyd (45 apps); 14. Toby Fricker (17 apps), 13. Jack Bates (7 apps), 12. Antoine Frisch (0 apps), 11. Alapati Leiua (85 apps); 10. Callum Sheedy (111 apps), 9. Harry Randall (70 apps); 1. Yann Thomas (72 apps), 2. Jake Kerr (6 apps), 3. Kyle Sinckler (24 caps), 4. Dave Attwood (c) (60 apps), 5. Joe Joyce (128 apps), 6. Sam Jeffries (34 apps), 7. Dan Thomas (90 apps), 8. Fitz Harding (11 apps).

System players: 16. Harry Thacker (56 apps), 17. Max Lahiff (31 apps), 18. John Afoa (71 apps), 19. John Hawkins (21 apps), 20. Jake Heenan (57 apps), 21. Andy Uren (118 apps), 22. Tom Whiteley (0 apps), 23. Charlie Powell (14 apps).

Unavailable: Bryan Byrne, Jake Woolmore, Mitch Eadie, Chris Vui, Steven Luatua, Semi Radradra, Piers O’Conor, Sam Bedlow, Henry Purdy, Siva Naulago, Luke Morahan.


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