Preview: Worcester v Connacht

11th Dec 2009, 12:39

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Back at Sixways: Alex Grove

Back at Sixways: Alex Grove

Scotland outside centre Alex Grove makes his Sixways return on Saturday as Worcester take on Connacht in the Amlin Challenge Cup.

Scotland centre Alex Grove makes his Sixways return on Saturday as Worcester take on Connacht in the Amlin Challenge Cup.

The improving youngster will run out for his first club start since early November after impressing during the autumn against Fiji, Australia and Argentina.

Grove is one of two changes made by Mike Ruddock to the starting line-up that picked up a domestic draw with London Irish last time out.

Elsewhere and hooker Chris Fortey is handed a spot in the front-row with Aleki Lutui moving to the replacements bench while three changes on the bench see Jordan Page selected and Graham Kitchener return after a back injury.

Fit again fly-half Matthew Jones is also handed a place among the replacements and could make his first senior appearance at Sixways since facing Brive in the European quarter-finals in April.

Meanwhile, Connacht have made two alterations for the match as George Naoupu comes in at number eight for his debut while Ray Ofisa replaces the injured Johnny O'Connor at openside flanker.

The teams:

Worcester:
15 Chris Latham, 14 Rico Gear, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Dale Rasmussen, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Willie Walker, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Kai Horstmann, 7 Pat Sanderson (capt), 6 Tom Wood, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 Greg Rawlinson, 3 Tevita Taumoepeau, 2 Chris Fortey, 1 Adam Black.
Replacements: 16 Jordan Page, 17 Aleki Lutui, 18 Olivier Sourgens, 19 Graham Kitchener, 20 James Collins, 21 Ollie Frost, 22 Matthew Jones, 23 Calum MacRae.

Connacht: 15 Gavin Duffy, 14 Liam Bibo, 13 Niva Ta'auso, 12 Aidan Wynne, 11 Fionn Carr, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Frank Murphy, 8 George Naoupu, 7 Ray Ofisa, 6 John Muldoon (capt), 5 Bernie Upton, 4 Mike McCarthy, 3 Robbie Morris, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Adrian Flavin, 17 Ronan Loughney, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 Michael Swift, 20 Mike McComish, 21 Conor O'Loughlin, 22 Miah Nikora, 23 Troy Nathan.

Date: Saturday, December 12
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Venue: Sixways Stadium
Referee: Jérôme Garces (France)
Assistant referees: Patrick Pechambert (France), Jerome Lamirand (France)