Preview: Harlequins v London Irish

Date published: December 4 2015

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Harlequins have made four changes to face London Irish at The Stoop on Saturday in the Premiership.

Ollie Lindsay-Hague is named on the wing, partnering Tim Visser and Mike Brown.

In the forwards Dave Ward starts at hooker and is joined in the front row by Adam Jones. Luke Wallace returns to the back row at openside flanker.

Among the replacements, Ross Chisholm will look to make his first senior appearance of the season.

Meanwhile, London Irish’s Canadian International, Ciaran Hearn, will make his Aviva Premiership debut.

Hearn is one of seven changes from the side that played Wasps last weekend with Gerard Ellis, Jebb Sinclair, David Sisi, Luke Narraway, Darren Allinson and Eoin Griffin all coming into the starting side.

Tom Court and Ben Franks line up alongside Gerard Ellis in the front row with Jebb Sinclair joining stand in captain Matt Symons in the second row. David Sisi starts in the back row alongside Blair Cowan and Luke Narraway.

Darren Allinson is named at scrum-half after his impressive performances in Europe with Chris Noakes at fly-half. Eoin Griffin and Ciaran Hearn form a new midfield combination with Aseli Tikoirotuma reverting to the back three where he joins Alex Lewington and Topsy Ojo.

London Irish head coach Tom Coventry said: “We have adjusted the squad this week to allow players that have worked hard in training an opportunity, and equally to rest those who have played a lot of rugby.

"The effort and endeavour in training has been brilliant and we are working hard to get our first win in the Premiership. It will be a tough test against an in-form Harlequins team on Saturday but we are looking forward to it.”

Form: Harlequins were defeated 25-26 at Exeter Chiefs on Saturday but claimed two bonus points from the venture, making it three try bonus points in a row in all competitions. Harlequins’ only loss in their last six matches in all competitions at the Twickenham Stoop was by a single point to Bath in Premiership Rugby on 8 May. London Irish have lost all five Premiership Rugby games so far this season and as yet have not managed to tally a single league point. The Exiles most recent victory in the tournament came when Sale visited Madejski Stadium on 12 April. Harlequins have lost only one of their last eight Premiership Rugby fixtures against London Irish:  13-18 in Reading in October 2013 whilst the Exiles most recent victory at Twickenham Stoop came in the Premiership Rugby semi-final in 2009.

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Ollie Lindsay-Hague, 13 George Lowe, 12 Harry Sloan, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care (c), 8 Nick Easter, 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 Sam Twomey, 4 James Horwill, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Dave Ward, 1 Joe Marler
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Will Collier, 19 Charlie Matthews. 20 Jack Clifford, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Ross Chisholm

London Irish: 15 Topsy Ojo, 14 Alex Lewington, 13 Ciaran Hearn, 12 Eoin Griffin, 11 Ashli Tikoirotuma, 10 Chris Noakes, 9 Darren Allison, 8 Luke Narraway, 7 Blair Cowan, 6 David Sisi, 5 Jebb Sinclair, 4 Matt Symons (c), 3 Ben Franks, 2 Gerard Ellis, 1 Tom Court 
Replacements: 16 Tom Cruse, 17 Tom Smallbone, 18 Halani Aulika, 19 Eoin Sheriff, 20 Ofisa Treviranus, 21 Brendan McKibbin, 22 Theo Trophy Clews, 23 Sean Maitland

Date: Saturday, December 5
Venue: Twickenham Stoop
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referees: Ashley Rowden & Simon McConnell
TMO: David Sainsbury

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