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Preview: Worcester v London Irish

03rd October 2008 13:16

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Shane Geraghty v Leeds

Welcome return: Geraghty is back in action after recovering from injury

London Irish will field a side that sees six players make their first starts of the season, as they travel to Sixways on Sunday to take on Worcester in the EDF Energy Cup.

James Bailey and James Buckland, who start at full-back and hooker respectively, will make their debuts for the Exiles.

Those making their first start of the season include Tomas De Vedia on the right wing, Shane Geraghty at inside centre, Dan Murphy at loosehead prop and Declan Danaher at openside flanker.

Captain Bob Casey leads a strong pack in which he is partnered in the second row by Gary Johnson. All Black prop, Clarke Dermody, is named among the replacements having recovered from an arm injury incurred in pre-season training.

The match also provides the first opportunity of the season to see a possible England Elite Squad pairing of Peter Richards and Shane Geraghty in action

"We're resting some players that have played in all of our recent Premiership fixtures, and are giving an opportunity to players to push for a place in the squads for our upcoming European Challenge Cup matches with Rovigo and Connacht," said Toby Booth, London Irish Head Coach.

"Some of the fresh faces are players coming back from injury - in particular, it's good to see Shane Geraghty making his first start of the season and Clarke Dermody on the bench. This match provides a big opportunity for all these players and we're confident they'll want to show what they're capable of."

Worcester will be captained by Wallaby full-back Chris Latham as they look to bounce back from Thursday's Guinness Premiership defeat against Harlequins.

Wales U21 fly-half Matthew Jones retains his place, having impressed in Thursday's defeat, and is partnered at half-back by namesake Ben Jones.

Form: The Warriors have won just three of their previous nine EDF Energy Cup ties with only one of those victories being at Sixways: 23-22 against Harlequins in round 2 last season. The Exiles have won three of their last four away games. London Irish's last game in the EDF Energy Cup was also against Worcester where they gained a 48-27 victory at Madejski Stadium to end a four game losing streak in the competition. Worcester have not beaten London Irish since a 20-15 win at Madejski Stadium in the Premiership on 11 September 2005.

The Teams:

Worcester: 15 Chris Latham (c), 14 Charlie Fellows, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Matthew Jones, 9 Ben Jones, 8 Netani Talei, 7 Jake Abbott, 6 Matt Cox, 5 Craig Gilles, 4 Graham Kitchener, 3 Chris Horsman, 2 Chris Fortey, 1 Darren Morris

Replacements: 16 Shaun Ruwers, 17 Aleki Lutui, 18 Greg Rawlinson, 19 Tom Wood, 20 Jonny Arr, 21 Joe Carlisle, 22 Loki Crichton

London Irish: 15 James Bailey, 14 Tomas De Vedia, 13 Elvis Seveali'i, 12 Shane Geraghty, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Eoghan Hickey, 9 Peter Richards, 8 Richard Thorpe, 7 Declan Danaher, 6 Jonathon Fisher, 5 Bob Casey (c), 4 Gary Johnson, 3 Tonga Lea'aetoa/Faan Rautenbach, 2 James Buckland, 1 Dan Murphy.

Replacements: 16 Clarke Dermody, 17 James Clarke, 18 Faan Rautenbach, 19 Steffon Armitage, 20 Dominic Shabbo, 21 Tom Parker, 22 Charlie Gower.

Date: Sunday 5 October, 2008

Kick-off: 15:00 BST (14:00 GMT)

Venue: Sixways Stadium

Referee: Roy Maybank (England)

Touch judges: Paul Emerson, Andy Watson

Assessor: Brian Abrahams

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