Preview: London Irish v Leeds Carnegie

Date published: April 16 2010

London Irish have made two changes to their line-up for Sunday's Guinness Premiership match with Leeds Carnegie in Reading.

London Irish have made two changes to their starting line-up for Sunday's Guinness Premiership match with Leeds Carnegie at Madejski Stadium.

Both are in the pack where Danie Coetzee and George Stowers replace the injured James Buckland and suspended Chris Hala'Ufia respectively.

“We find ourselves in a similar position to where we were at this time last year,” said London Irish Head Coach, Toby Booth.

“Last weekend's courageous win away at Worcester lifted us back into fourth place in the Premiership table. The level of performance in the team at the moment is vastly improved and we are getting stronger, week on week.

“Teams involved in relegation battles are always dangerous prospects and we are expecting a reaction from Leeds after last weekend's defeat by Harlequins. Andy Key and Neil Back's team has improved steadily over the season and we know we will have to be at our best again on Sunday to secure a result,” Booth added.

Meanwhile, Leeds Carnegie coaching duo Andy Key and Neil Back have made six changes.

Andy Titterrell returns to the starting line up, having begun last week's game against Quins on the bench, whilst Phil Nilsen is named as a replacement.

Jon Goodridge is set to make his first appearance for the first team since The LV= Cup game against Saracens in January, having been brought into the starting line up in place of the injured Leigh Hinton. Luther Burrell will start in place of Scott Barrow, who is ruled out with a shoulder injury and Tom Denton and Henry Paul are both named as replacements in place of Kearnan Myall and Richard Welding.

Form: London Irish have won two of their last three games in the Guinness Premiership. The Exiles' only defeat in their last five Premiership matches at Madejski Stadium was 22-35 at the hands of Bath on St Valentine's Day. Leeds Carnegie have slipped to three successive defeats in the Guinness Premiership but at least have won three times on their travels in the competition this season; at Wasps, Newcastle and Sale. London Irish have won their last five games against Leeds since the semi final of the 2004/05 Powergen Cup. Leeds' most recent victory at Madejski Stadium was 16-12 in October 2004

The teams:

London Irish:15 Peter Hewat, 14 John Rudd, 13 Elvis Seveali'i, 12 Seilala Mapusua, 11 Delon Armitage, 10 Chris Malone, 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 George Stowers, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Bob Casey (c),4 Kieran Roche, 3 Faan Rautenbach, 2 Danie Coetzee, 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Replacements:16 David Paice, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 James Tideswell, 19 Matt Garvey, 20 Richard Thorpe, 21 Tom Homer, 22 Jamie Lennard, 23 Ben Stevenson

Leeds:15 Jon Goodridge 14 Henry Fa'afili 13 Luther Burrell 12 Seru Rabeni 11 Lee Blackett 10 Ceiron Thomas 9 Scott Mathie 8 Alfie To'oala 7 Hendre Fourie 6 Calum Clark 5 Marco Wentzel 4 Erik Lund 3 Juan Gomez 2 Andy Titterrell 1 Mike MacDonald.
Replacements:16 Phil Nilsen 17 Gareth Hardy 18 Phil Swainston 19 Tom Denton 20 Rhys Oakley 21 Andy Gomarsall 22 Joe Ford 23 Henry Paul

Date: Sunday, April 18
Venue: Madejski Stadium
Kick-off: 15.00 GMT
Referee: Wayne Barnes