Planet Rugby

Preview: Bristol v London Irish

28th November 2008 12:53

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Shaun Perry is back in action for Bristol again

Perry: Back from his latest injury

Bristol coach Richard Hill makes just the one change to his squad for Sunday's Guinness Premiership clash with London Irish at the Memorial Stadium.

The only new face in the squad is that of Redford Pennycook, who replaces Iain Grieve who is awaiting the results of a scan on the shoulder he injured at Kingsholm last weekend.

However, Hill has made several positional changes to his backline as Lee Robinson comes in on the right wing, Neil Brew retains his place at centre and Luke Eves starts alongside him, whilst Ed Barnes replaces Adrian Jarvis in the fly half role.

And, after two replacement appearances against Northampton Saints and Gloucester, scrum half Shaun Perry makes his first start of the season.

The Exiles want to continue their recent run of good form and with the return of some of the players that have been involved in the autumn international series, have been able to select from a squad with more depth than has been the case in recent weeks.

There are five personnel and two positional changes to the starting line-up.

In the front row Tonga Lea'aetoa starts at tight head prop. Bob Casey comes into the second row in the absence of Nick Kennedy, Kieran Roche switches places with his club captain and Declan Danaher starts at blindside flanker.

Among the backs Seilala Mapusua and Sailosi Tagicakibau return at inside centre and on the left wing respectively after being with the Pacific Islands squad. Shane Geraghty switches to fly-half to accommodate Mapusua's return.

Form: Bristol tripped up at Gloucester last weekend but won their most recent game at Memorial Stadium, 14-13 over Northampton on 16 November. London Irish have moved into second spot in the Guinness Premiership table - their highest placing after a round of fixtures since round 1 in 2005/06. The Exiles won their last four matches in the competition since their 16-20 reversal at home to Bath on 20 September. Both encounters between the two sides in the Guinness Premiership were won by the home side on the day, exactly reversing what happened the season before!

The teams:

Bristol: 15 Luke Arscott, 14 Lee Robinson, 13 Neil Brew, 12 Luke Eves, 11 David Lemi, 10 Ed Barnes, 9 Shaun Perry, 8 Dan Ward-Smith, 7 Joe El Abd (c), 6 Alfie To'oala, 5 Robert Sidoli, 4 Roy Winters, 3 Darren Crompton, 2 Mark Regan, 1 Alex Clarke.

Replacements: 16 Scott Linklater, 17 Peter Bracken, 18 Mariano Sambucetti, 19 Redford Pennycook, 20 Graeme Beveridge, 21 Adrian Jarvis, 22 Tom Arscott.

London Irish: 15 Peter Hewat, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Elvis Seveali'i, 12 Seilala Mapusua, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Shane Geraghty, 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 Chris Hala'Ufia, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Declan Danaher, 5 Kieran Roche, 4 Bob Casey (c), 3 Tonga Lea'aetoa, 2 David Paice, 1 Clarke Dermody.

Replacements: 16 Dan Murphy, 17 James Buckland, 18 Alex Corbisiero, 19 Gary Johnson, 20 Richard Thorpe, 21 Alfredo Lalanne, 22 Charlie Gower.

Date: Sunday 30 November, 2008

Kick-off: 15:00 GMT

Venue: Memorial Stadium

Referee: David Rose

Touch judges: Alan Biggs, Pearce

Television match official: Brian Abrahams

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