Planet Rugby

Preview: Harlequins v London Irish

26th December 2010 12:35


Ugo Monye Harlequins

Harlequins boost: Ugo Monye

Harlequins boss Conor O'Shea has restored Ugo Monye to his starting line-up for Monday's clash with London Irish at Twickenham.

The winger has recovered from a toe injury that has kept him out since the second game of the season and comes in for Gonzalo Camacho, who picked up a knock against Connacht last week.

George Robson returns to partner Ollie Kohn in the second row, while Will Skinner is back at flanker with Tom Guest sidelined by an ankle injury.

Not only will this be the first time the two sides have met each other this season, but it will be O'Shea's first match against London Irish since he left there over five years ago.

Meanwhile, former Springbok prop Faan Rautenbach will make his 100th appearance for London Irish at HQ.

Exiles head coach Toby Booth has recalled Topsy Ojo to his starting line-up, while Sailosi Tagicakibau retains his place on the wing.

George Stowers is preferred to Chris Hala'ufia at number eight, and Chris Malone earns another start at fly-half.

Form: Harlequins only win in their last six Premiership meetings with London Irish was 14-9 at Madejski Stadium on 14 February 2009. The two clubs have met three times before at Twickenham with London Irish winning two of those. Harlequins have won three of their last four games in all competitions, but in Aviva Premiership Rugby have won just once in their last five matches. Quins are winless in their last four visits to Twickenham, a sequence that has included two draws. London Irish have slipped to seven successive defeats in all competitions - the Exiles' worst run since 2002. Irish have already been victorious at Twickenham this season having beaten Saracens there, 33-16, in round one.

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Tom Williams, 13 George Lowe, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Nick Easter,7 Will Skinner, 6 Chris Robshaw (c),5 George Robson,4 Ollie Kohn, 3 James Johnston,2 Joe Gray, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Matt Cairns, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 John Andress, 19 Tomas Vallejos, 20 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Tom Casson

London Irish: 15 Delon Armitage, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Seilala Mapusua, 12 Dan Bowden, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Chris Malone, 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 George Stowers, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Richard Thorpe, 5 Bob Casey, 4 Nick Kennedy,3 Faan Rautenbach,2 James Buckland, 1 Clarke Dermody (c).
Replacements: 16 Brian Blaney, 17 Alex Corbisiero, 18 Dan Murphy, 19 Matt Garvey, 20 Kieran Roche, 21 Elvis Seveali'i, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Darren Allinson.

Referee: Andrew Small

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