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Tom Tainton

Tom Tainton writes

Posted Friday, September 7th 2018

Team news: Saracens vs Bristol Bears

Bristol Bears will face the Premiership champions Saracens in Round Two of the Gallagher Premiership on Saturday (3pm KO).

  • Bears make eight changes for visit to Saracens
  • Three players set for competitive debuts for club
  • Harry Randall and Tom Pincus could make maiden outings from bench
  • Nine internationals in starting line-up

Head coach Pat Lam makes eight changes to the side that secured the opening day victory over Bath in front of a record crowd at Ashton Gate.

With Charles Piutau (shoulder), Luke Daniels (hamstring) and Mat Protheroe (knee) ruled out, the head coach hands a competitive debut to Piers O’Conor at full back.

Academy graduates Callum Sheedy and Andy Uren form a new-look half back partnership, while Siale Piutau recovers from a dead leg to make his first outing of the 2018/19 campaign.

"Last weekend was a fantastic start for the team, but we’ve moved on now and the focus is fully on going to the one of the best teams in the Northern Hemisphere and delivering a performance."

Head coach Pat Lam

In the pack, Bristol hand competitive debuts to Jordan Lay and Lewis Thiede in the front row after their impressive displays in the Premiership Shield, while Joe Latta and Jack Lam – both of whom featured from the bench against Bath – earn starts.

“Last weekend was a fantastic start for the team, but we’ve moved on now and the focus is fully on going to the one of the best teams in the Northern Hemisphere and delivering a performance,” said Lam.

“We have huge respect for Mark McCall’s side and what they have achieved in the game. It will be a massive challenge for the guys and one we’re excited about.”

Joe Joyce and Nick Haining are included among the replacements for the first time this season, while Harry Randall and Tom Pincus could make their competitive debuts at Allianz Park.

Bristol Bears team to face Saracens at Allianz Park on Saturday, September 8th (3pm KO):

15. Piers O’Conor; 14. Luke Morahan, 13. Will Hurrell, 12. Siale Piutau, 11. Alapati Leiua; 10. Callum Sheedy, 9. Andy Uren; 1. Jordan Lay, 2. Harry Thacker, 3. Lewis Thiede, 4. Ed Holmes, 5. Joe Latta, 6. Steve Luatua (c), 7. George Smith, 8. Jack Lam.

Replacements: 16. Shaun Malton, 17. Jake Woolmore, 18. John Afoa, 19. Joe Joyce, 20. Nick Haining, 21. Harry Randall, 22. Ian Madigan, 23. Tom Pincus.

Unavailable: Jack Cosgrove (foot), Sione Faletau (calf), Aly Muldowney (neck), John Hawkins (thumb), Sam Jeffries (head), Chris Vui (groin), James Dun (knee), Tiff Eden (shoulder), Mat Protheroe (knee), Aaron Chapman (achilles), Charles Piutau (shoulder), Luke Daniels (hamstring), Ryan Edwards (hip).


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