Planet Rugby

Preview: Worcester v London Irish

20th April 2012 13:12


SKY_MOBILE Kai Horstmann

Departing skiperr: Kai Horstmann

Long-serving back row Kai Horstmann will captain Worcester in his final game for the club at Sixways Stadium against London Irish on Saturday.

Horstmann will lead the side and his vice-captain will be hard running centre Dale Rasmussen ,who also plays his final game for Warriors at Sixways.

Head Coach Richard Hill makes a total of five changes to the side narrowly lost out to Exeter Chiefs.

A new-look back row sees Horstmann play at number eight while flankers Sam Betty and Jake Abbott win recalls.

The other change in the pack comes in the front row where Ed Shervington will join forces with Matt Mullan and Tevita Taumoepeau.

Scrum-half Jonny Arr is the final change in a back division that will also see farewell games for wing duo Miles Benjamin and Marcel Garvey before they start new challenges in the summer.

"We need a good result and have plenty of incentive to perform against a dangerous London Irish team who I fully expect to play without pressure and with real ambition," said Hill.

"When we played them at the Madejski Stadium back in October we saw the clinical attacking threat they possess and so we must be strong defensively and look to build on an encouraging attacking display against Exeter Chiefs.

"It is sad to see a number of Warriors play their final game for the club at Sixways. I hope we can give them a good send-off with our fans given the chance to show them their respect while they get the chance to say goodbye."

Meanwhile, New Zealand international Bryn Evans will captain a London Irish team that contains four changes from the side that faced Saracens last weekend.

Steven Shingler will start at fly-half in the one change to the back line. Max Lahiff and Leo Halavatau will join David Paice in the front row whilst England U20 international, David Sisi, comes into the back row.

"We need to show the same effort and competitiveness that we have shown in recent weeks against Worcester tomorrow," said London Irish head coach Toby Booth.

Form: Worcester Warriors only win in their last four games was 19-9 at home to Newcastle on 23 March. The Warriors' five match winning run at Sixways in all competitions ended at the hands of Exeter on Saturday. London Irish have slipped to seven straight defeats in Aviva Premiership Rugby - their worst ever sequence in Premiership history. The Exiles have won just once on the road this season in the tournament: 14-13 at Northampton in round three. The Warriors are winless in their last ten Premiership encounters against London Irish since their 20-15 victory at Madejski Stadium on 11 September 2005.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Marcel Garvey, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Dale Rasmussen, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Kai Horstmann (c), 7 Jake Abbott, 6 Sam Betty, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 James Percival, 3 Tevita Taumoepeau, 2 Ed Shervington, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 George Porter, 18 Bruce Douglas, 19 Ben Gulliver, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Shaun Perry, 22 Danny Gray, 23 Ravai Fatiaki.

London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Delon Armitage, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Joe Ansbro, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Steve Shingler, 9 Darren Allinson, 8 Ofisa Treviranus 7 Jamie Gibson, 6 David Sisi, 5 Matt Garvey, 4 Bryn Evans (c), 3 Leo Halavatau, 2 David Paice, 1 Max Lahiff.
Replacements: 16 James Buckland, 17 Mark George, 18 Paulica Ion, 19 Kieran Low, 20 Alex Gray, 21 Topsy Ojo, 22 Adrian Jarvis, 23 Ross Samson

Date: Saturday, April 21
Venue: Sixways
Kick-off: 15.00
Referee: Tim Wigglesworth

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