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Team news: Richmond vs Bristol Rugby

Steven Luatua returns from a rib injury as unbeaten Bristol round off 2017 with a visit to Richmond on Saturday (3pm KO).

  • Nine internationals in starting line-up
  • Steven Luatua returns from rib injury to start
  • Four changes from side that beat Pirates
  • Bristol go in search of thirteenth straight league win

The All Black missed the Championship wins over Doncaster and Cornish Pirates, but is available for the Richmond Athletic Ground clash.

Head coach Pat Lam makes four changes from the side that overcame Pirates last weekend, as Sione Faletau replaces Gaston Cortes (calf), Sam Jeffries moves into the second row in place of Chris Vui (concussion), Andy Uren comes in for Rhodri Williams (concussion) and Jordan Crane replaces Jack Lam (illness).

Lam said: “It’s been a short week of preparation and disjointed with the festive break, so it’s important that the mental side is right.

“Richmond are a tough opposition at home and they will throw everything at us – if we aren’t right mentally, we will come unstuck.

“The big message this week has been to be ready, expect a tough encounter and bring a lot of physicality to what we are doing."

Alex Giltrow, Ryan Glynn and Joe Batley come onto the replacements bench as top-of-the-table Bristol go in search of a thirteenth straight league win.

Bristol Rugby team to face Richmond at the Richmond Athletic Ground on Saturday, 30 December (3pm KO):

15. Jordan Williams; 14. Luke Morahan, 13. Siale Piutau, 12. Tusi Pisi (c), 11. Alapati Leiua; 10. Ian Madigan, 9. Andy Uren; 1. Soane Tonga’uiha, 2. Jason Harris-Wright, 3. Sione Faletau, 4. Joe Joyce, 5. Sam Jeffries, 6. Steven Luatua, 7. Dan Thomas, 8. Jordan Crane.

Replacements: 16. Nick Fenton-Wells, 17. Ryan Bevington, 18. Alex Giltrow, 19. Joe Batley, 20. Ryan Glynn, 21. Callum Sheedy, 22. Mat Protheroe.

UNAVAILABLE: Max Crumpton (knee), Ross McMillan (hamstring), Tyler Gendall (knee), Gaston Cortes (calf), John Hawkins (knee), Dan Tuohy (shoulder), Chris Vui (concussion), Ehize Ehizode (shoulder), Nick Haining (shoulder), Jack Lam (illness), James Dun (knee), Rhodri Williams (concussion), Billy Searle (illness), Jack Tovey (illness), Thretton Palamo (foot), Tom Varndell (ankle).

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