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Tom Tainton

Tom Tainton writes

Posted Friday, August 28th 2020

Team news: Sale Sharks vs Bristol Bears

Jack Bates is set to become the second youngest player to start a game for the club in the top-flight since leagues were introduced in 1987 on Saturday (3pm KO).

  • Bears make 13 changes for Sale Sharks clash
  • Lam selects nine Bristolians in matchday squad
  • Bates to become the second youngest player to start for Bears in the top-flight
  • First Premiership starts for Dun and Eden

The homegrown winger, at 19 years and 95 days, is one of thirteen changes as Bristol visit Sale Sharks in round seventeen.

Only Piers O’Conor and Ed Holmes remain from Tuesday evening, as Bears select nine Bristolians in the squad and ten Academy graduates.

Academy graduate James Dun is also set for his Premiership debut, while fellow Bristolian Charlie Powell could also make his maiden Premiership outing from the replacements bench.

Tiff Eden makes his first Premiership start for the club, while there’s a first outing for Jake Heenan since the rugby restart.

“Thirteen of the matchday squad are aged 23 and under and we’re proud to select ten Academy graduates and nine Bristolians in the matchday squad. This is credit to the great work being done in our Bears Academy programme.”

Pat Lam, Director of Rugby

Short-term arrivals Peter McCabe and Keiron Assiratti are listed among the replacements and could make club debuts, while Mitch Eadie could make his first appearance since returning to his hometown club from Northampton Saints.

Director of Rugby Lam said: “Facing Sale away is one of the toughest tests on the Premiership calendar, so if there was ever a time to channel all the excitement and energy of the challenge into teamwork, this is it.

“Thirteen of the matchday squad are aged 23 and under and we’re proud to select ten Academy graduates and nine Bristolians in the matchday squad. This is credit to the great work being done in our Bears Academy programme.”

Bristol Bears team to face Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium on Saturday, August 29th (3pm KO):

15. Max Malins; 14. Alapati Leiua, 13. Piers O’Conor, 12. Siale Piutau (c), 11. Jack Bates; 10. Tiff Eden, 9. Andy Uren; 1. Jake Woolmore, 2. Will Capon, 3. Yann Thomas, 4. Ed Holmes, 5. Joe Joyce, 6. James Dun, 7. Jake Heenan, 8. Ben Earl.

System players: 16. George Kloska, 17. Peter McCabe, 18. Kieron Assiratti, 19. John Hawkins, 20. Mitch Eadie, 21. Harry Randall, 22. Ioan Lloyd, 23. Charlie Powell.

Unavailable: John Afoa (calf), Max Lahiff (head), Jake Armstrong (ankle), Chris Vui (quad), Sam Bedlow (shoulder), Toby Fricker (groin).


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