Preview: LV= Cup, Round One

Date published: November 1 2014

This weekend sees the LV=Cup kick off in England, with Exeter Chiefs setting out to defend their title from last season.

This weekend sees the LV=Cup kick off in England, with Exeter Chiefs setting out to defend their title from last season.

Get all the latest team news ahead of the first round of matches, with all 12 English clubs in action.

Sale Sharks v Wasps

Captain Dan Braid starts his first game since the opening day of the season against Wasps on Saturday at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Braid came on as a second half replacement against Clermont last week and is keen to get more game time under his belt.

Joe Ford starts his first game of the season at fly-half and Nick Macleod is named amongst the replacements for the first time this term.

Also back is Will Addison who was injured in the win over London Welsh in September.

Meanwhile, Wasps director of rugby Dai Young has named an exciting side to face Sale.

The side, captained by Ben Jacobs, sees a large number of experienced first-team players link up with some impressive youngsters from the senior academy.

Simon McIntyre, Tom Lindsay and Phil Swainston form the front row, with James Cannon and Will Rowlands the two starting locks. Buster Lawrence, Thomas Young and Ed Jackson are named in the back row.

In the back line, Charlie Davies and Alex Lozowski link up as the half backs, with Ben Jacobs and Will Helu in the centres. Out wide, Josh Bassett and Tom Howe start on the wings, with Piers O’Conor at full-back.

On the bench, there are familiar faces in Jake Cooper-Woolley and Sam Jones, joined by Edd Shervington, making his return from injury, and academy players Alex Lundberg, Tom Baldwin, Tom Bliss, George Eastwell and Conor Dolan.

The teams:

Sale: 15 Luke McLean, 14 Phil MacKenzie, 13 Andrew Forsyth, 12 Sammy Tuitupou, 11 Charlie Ingall, 10 Joe Ford, 9 Will Cliff, 8 Viliami Fihaki, 7 Dan Braid (c), 6 Mark Easter, 5 Josh Beaumont, 4 Andrei Ostrikov, 3 Ross Harrison, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Alberto de Marchi
Replacements: 16 Shalva Mamukashvili, 17 Eifion Lewis Roberts, 18 James Flynn, 19 Jonathan Mills, 20 Andrew Hughes, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Nick Macleod, 23 Will Addison

Wasps: 15 Piers O’Conor, 14 Tom Howe, 13 Will Helu, 12 Ben Jacobs (c), 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Alex Lozowski, 9 Charlie Davies, 8 Ed Jackson, 7 Thomas Young, 6 Buster Lawrence, 5 Will Rowlands, 4 James Cannon, 3 Phil Swainston, 2 Tom Lindsay, 1 Simon McIntyre
Replacements: 16 Ed Shervington, 17 Alex Lundberg, 18 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 19 Tom Baldwin, 20 Sam Jones, 21 Tom Bliss, 22 George Eastwell, 23 Connor Dolan

Date: Saturday, November 1
Venue: AJ Bell Stadium
Kickoff: 14:00 (GMT)
Referee: Greg Macdonald
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix, Gordon Goodliffe

Bath vs London Welsh

Bath’s 19-year-old Academy lock Charlie Ewels continues the remarkable start to his season by being named captain.

No fewer than fourteen current and former members of Bath Rugby’s Academy comprise the home squad, with Ewels making only his second start for the senior team following an exemplary display against Toulouse in the Champions Cup.

Ewels partners Tom Ellis in the second row, behind a front row of loosehead Nick Auterac, hooker Ross Batty and tighthead Kane Palma-Newport.

Openside Guy Mercer, blindside Max Northcote-Green and number eight David Sisi form the back row, whilst Chris Cook and Gavin Henson start at nine and ten respectively.

Inside centre Ollie Devoto and outside centre Matt Banahan make up a powerful midfield combination, with a well-balanced back three of fullback Luke Arscott and wings Horacio Agulla and Olly Woodburn.

Meanwhile, London Welsh have named a much changed line up.

In the backs, Chris Elder comes in at full-back with team captain Tom May returning to the side at inside centre. Tristan Roberts and Rob Lewis start at fly-half and scrum-half respectively.

In the forwards, Pablo Henn, Nathan Morris and Eddie Aholelei make up a new-look front row, and the second row also sees a new combination – Ben West moving from blindside flanker to partner James Down.

Daniel Browne takes over the number six jersey from Ben West, for what will be his first competitive start of the season, while Nathan Vella reprises his role at openside flanker. Ben Pienaar is named at number eight.

The teams:

Bath: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Olly Woodburn, 13 Matt Banahan, 12 Ollie Devoto, 11 Horacio Agulla, 10 Gavin Henson, 9 Chris Cook, 8 David Sisi, 7 Guy Mercer, 6 Max Northcote-Green, 5 Charlie Ewels (c), 4 Tom Ellis, 3 Kane Palma-Newport, 2 Ross Batty, 1 Nick Auterac
Replacements: 16 Tom Dunn, 17 Nathan Catt, 18 Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19 Marcus Garratt, 20 Tom Woolstencroft, 21 Micky Young, 22 Max Clark, 23 Richard Lane

Welsh: 15 Chris Elder, 14 Rhys Crane, 13 Nic Reynolds, 12 Tom May (c), 11 Nick Scott, 10 Tristan Roberts, 9 Rob Lewis, 8 Ben Pienaar, 7 Nathan Vella, 6 Damian Browne, 5 James Down, 4 Ben West, 3 Eddie Aholelei, 2 Nathan Morris, 1 Pablo Henn
Replacements: 16 Koree Britton, 17 Taione Vea, 18 Ben Cooper, 19 Josh McNally, 20 Peter Browne, 21 Paul Rowley, 22 Will Robinson, 23 Adam Field.

Date: Saturday, November 1
Venue: AJ Bell Stadium
Kickoff: 15:00 (GMT)
Referee: David Procter
Assistant Referees: Peter Huckle, Stuart Terheege

Exeter Chiefs vs Gloucester

For Exeter, as has become the norm in recent years for the club, youth will again get it’s chance to shine in the Anglo-Welsh competition. Although the Chiefs will be supplemented by an experienced backbone that includes the likes of James Scaysbrook, Brett Sturgess, Luke Cowan-Dickie, Ceri Sweeney and skipper Dean Mumm.

Aussie international Mumm, along with Cowan-Dickie, are poised to make their first starts of the season as they return to action after long-term injuries.

Meanwhile, number eight Gareth Evans, sidelined with a knee injury since April, will make his first-team comeback.

Evans will make his first appearance since injuring his knee against Bath at Kingsholm. He will be joined in the starting line up by five players making their first competitive starts for Gloucester – Steve McColl, Mark Atkinson, Tom Isaacs, Aled Thomas and Dan Thomas.

James Hudson will skipper the side which features a number of changes with several players away on international duty.

The teams:

Exeter: 15 Jack Arnott, 14 Fetu’u Vainikolo, 13 Max Bodilly, 12 Adam Hughes, 11 Tom James, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Sam Skinner, 7 Sam Simmonds, 6 James Scaysbrook, 5 Jerry Sexton, 4 Dean Mumm (c), 3 Alex Brown, 2 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 1 Brett Sturgess
Replacements: 16 Greg Bateman, 17 Carl Rimmer, 18 Jack Stanley, 19 Will Carrick-Smith, 20 Joel Conlon, 21 Stuart Townsend, 22 Laurence May, 23 Tom Hendrickson

Gloucester: 15 Steve McColl, 14 Shane Monahan, 13 Billy Meakes, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Tom Isaacs, 10 Aled Thomas