Planet Rugby

Preview: London Irish v London Welsh

19th April 2013 09:02

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Chris Hala ufia London Irish

Back in: Chris Halażufia

London Irish will be bolstered this weekend by the return of Chris Hala'ufia for the Aviva Premiership clash with London Welsh in Reading.

Marland Yarde returns to the wing and Steven Shingler will start at inside centre with Guy Armitage outside him. Alex Corbisiero will start at loosehead and club captain, Declan Danaher, returns from injury to be named as a replacement.

"Tomorrow is our last home match of the season and we are keen to put in a strong performance in front of our home supporters," said London Irish director of rugby Brian Smith.

"We have not lost at home in 2013 and we want to ensure that record stays intact after tomorrow. London Welsh will be determined to put in a good performance and we are ready to meet that challenge."

Meanwhile, Gordon Ross and Daniel Browne will both make their 100th Premiership appearances after being named in the London Welsh side.

Ross made his Premiership debut for Leeds against Leicester Tigers at Headingley in August 2002, scoring 14 points in a 26-13 win for the home side, while Browne's first Premiership appearance came for Northampton at Leicester Tigers in September 2005.

Head coach Lyn Jones makes five changes to face London Irish after last weekend's defeat to Northampton Saints sealed London Welsh's return to the Championship next season.

All of those changes come in the backs, with Seb Stegmann starting at outside centre and Sonny Parker moving to the number 12 jersey to replace the injured Seb Jewell.

Nick Scott moves to number 14 jersey, with Dan Caprice named on the left wing. Tyson Keats replaces Alex Davies at scrum half, who starts on the bench.

Form: London Irish have won just one of their last four games: 26-6 at home to Worcester on 23rd March. Irish have not been defeated at Madejski Stadium in any tournament in 2013. London Welsh's unfortunate run of ten successive Aviva Premiership Rugby defeats should see them return to play RFU Championship rugby once more next season. Welsh have not been victorious in the competition since they beat London Irish 15-9 in Oxford in round 10. That win is London Welsh's only one over London Irish in competitive rugby.

The teams:

London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Guy Armitage, 12 Steven Shingler, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Darren Allinson, 8 Chris Hala'ufia, 7 Ofisa Treviranus, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Bryn Evans, 4 George Skivington (capt), 3 Halani Aulika, 2 David Paice, 1 Alex Corbisiero.
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Leo Halavatau, 19 Kieran Low, 20 Declan Danaher, 21 Topsy Ojo, 22 Shane Geraghty, 23 Jack Moates.

London Welsh: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Nick Scott, 13 Seb Stegmann, 12 Sonny Parker, 11 Dan Caprice, 10 Gordon Ross (capt), 9 Tyson Keats, 8 Daniel Browne, 7 Michael Hills, 6 Julio Cabello Farias, 5 Kirill Kulemin, 4 Matt Corker, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Greg Bateman, 1 Tom Bristow.
Replacements: 16 Dan George, 17 Arthur Joly, 18 James Tideswell, 19 Adam Brown, 20 Adam Balding, 21 Rob Lewis, 22 Alex Davies, 23 Joe Ajuwa.

Date: Saturday, April 20
Kick-off: 15:00 BST
Venue: Madejski Stadium
Referee: Dean Richards
Assistant referees: Gareth Copsey, Nigel Carrick
Timekeeper: Bob Ockenden
Assessor: Tony Spreadbury

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