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Will Carpenter

Will Carpenter writes

Posted Thursday, August 23rd 2018

Team news: Nottingham and Connacht

Bristol Bears will embark on a pre-season double-header of rugby in the final round of warm-up fixtures before the Gallagher Premiership campaign begins.

Pat Lam’s men face Nottingham at the Clifton RFC training base (2.30pm KO), before hosting Connacht at Ashton Gate at 7.45pm. Entry is free for all supporters for the Nottingham clash, while Connacht is £10 for adults, £5 for U19s and £1 for U12s.

Tusi Pisi skippers Bristol against Nottingham, with seven new recruits listed in the starting line-up for the encounter with the Championship outfit.

Tom Pincus, Tiff Eden and Harry Randall are included in the backline, while Lewis Thiede, Shaun Malton and Jordan Lay form the front row. Jake Heenan starts in the back row.

Bristol Bears team to face Nottingham at Clifton training base on Friday, August 24th (2.30pm KO):

15. Jack Tovey; 14. Charlie Powell, 13. Will Hurrell, 12. Tusi Pisi (c), 11. Tom Pincus; 10. Tiff Eden, 9. Harry Randall; 1. Jordan Lay, 2. Shaun Malton, 3. Lewis Thiede, 4. Joe Joyce, 5. John Hawkins, 6. Sam Jeffries, 7. Jake Heenan, 8. Nick Haining.

Replacements: 16. Tom Lindsay, 17. Tom Rowland, 18. Ollie Dawe, 19. Ehize Ehizode, 20. Sam Graham, 21. Reiss Cullen, 22. Sam Bedlow, 23. Matt Welsh.

Tusi Pisi will captain Bristol Bears against Nottingham (JMPUK).

Meanwhile, Steven Luatua will captain the Bears against PRO14 opposition Connacht, with six of the summer arrivals named in the starting line-up. Luke Daniels and Nic Stirzaker are set for starts in the backline, while Yann Thomas, Harry Thacker, John Afoa and George Smith come into the pack.

Charles Piutau (Achilles) and Chris Vui (groin) recover from injuries to be selected among the replacements at Ashton Gate.

Head coach Pat Lam said: “Friday is the final opportunity for these guys to deliver a performance and put their hand up for selection for Bath. Every player taking the field in both games is in contention and, of course, they’re desperate to play in the opening game.

“The double header is a chance for us to fine-tune our game and experiment with some different combinations against some strong opposition.”

Bristol Bears team to face Connacht at Ashton Gate on Friday, August 24th (7.45pm KO):

15. Luke Daniels; 14. Luke Morahan, 13. Alapati Leiua, 12. Siale Piutau, 11. Ryan Edwards; 10. Ian Madigan, 9. Nic Stirzaker; 1. Yann Thomas, 2. Harry Thacker, 3. John Afoa, 4. Ed Holmes, 5. Joe Latta, 6. Steve Luatua (c), 7. George Smith, 8. Jack Lam.

Replacements: 16. Nick Fenton-Wells, 17. Jake Woolmore, 18. Jake Armstrong, 19. Chris Vui, 20. Jordan Crane, 21. Andy Uren, 22. Callum Sheedy, 23. Charles Piutau, 24. Piers O’Conor.

Unavailable: Jack Cosgrove (ankle), Sione Faletau (calf), Aly Muldowney (neck), Joe Batley (illness), Dan Thomas (knee), James Dun (knee) Mat Protheroe (knee), Aaron Chapman (achilles).


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