Planet Rugby

Preview: London Welsh v Worcester

03rd May 2013 00:17

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Richard De Carpentier Worcester  WASPS

Starting: Richard de Carpentier

Richard de Carpentier will make his Aviva Premiership debut on Saturday when Worcester travel to the Kassam Stadium to take on London Welsh.

The number eight, who celebrated his 23rd birthday on Tuesday, will line-up alongside Sam Betty and Neil Best in the back-row after impressing during this season's LV= Cup.

De Carpentier is one of three changes to the team which faced Harlequins last time out as Andy Short and Sam Betty are recalled to the side.

Short will start at inside centre for his final game for Warriors before he moves to Bristol at the end of the season whilst Betty starts his first match since February.

Ben Howard retains his place on the wing after an encouraging full Premiership debut two weekends ago.

The clash will also see Andy Goode and Matt Mullan making their final starts for the club before they leave at the end of the season.

Academy wing Max Stelling is named as a replacement and will make his Aviva Premiership debut if he comes on.

Dean Schofield and Paul Hodgson are also recalled to the bench as Warriors aim to pick-up their first away league win this season.

"There's quite a bit riding on this game for us and it would be great - for the players more than anyone - to end the season with a win," said Warriors assistant head coach Nigel Redman.

"I'm a big believer in young English talent and this week we've picked a couple more as Richard de Carpentier and Max Stelling are involved.

"We've got an academy that has produced some good players and it's important we give them an opportunity to play in Worcester colours.

"For some players it's an opportunity to impress the new director of rugby coming in and for others it will be their last game. And they are motivating factors.

"London Welsh are coached by a very competitive person in Lyn Jones and I think they've got a lot of pride.

"They're a wounded animal who would love to finish on a high. But we want to finish on a high so it will be a competitive game."

Meanwhile, London Welsh head coach Lyn Jones makes six changes as the Exiles bow out of the Aviva Premiership against the Warriors.

In the backs, James Lewis replaces the injured Sonny Parker at inside centre, while Rob Lewis comes in at scrum half for Tyson Keats.

There's one change in the front row with Arthur Joly named at tighthead in place of Paulica Ion, while it's all change in the back-row.

Daniel Browne moves to blindside flanker, with Alfie To'oala taking over the number eight jersey. Lee Beach, who has already announced his retirement from professional rugby at the end of the season, comes into the side at openside flanker in place of Michael Hills.

"The last couple of weeks have been very difficult but we're really looking forward to Saturday's game and trying to finish on a high," said coach Jones.

"We're expecting an exciting game at the Kassam Stadium that will reflect on what has been an exciting season for the club.

"Preparations have been difficult; we have 14 players out injured, but the motivation and spirit in training has been good this week and the boys are keen to end the season with a victory."

Form: London Welsh have lost their last 11 in the Aviva Premiership since their 15-9 victory at home against London Irish on December 1 and sit bottom of the table with 18 points and one game left of the regular season. Meanwhile Worcester's only triumph in their last ten Aviva Premiership fixtures was 29-23 at home to London Wasps on March 1 with the Warriors winless away from Sixways in the league all season. Indeed they have won just once on the road in the Aviva Premiership since April 2009 - that 6-0 against London Wasps on New Year's Day 2012.

The teams:

London Welsh: 15 Tom Arscott, 14 Dan Caprice, 13 Seb Stegmann, 12 James Lewis, 11 Nick Scott, 10 Gordon Ross (c), 9 Rob Lewis, 8 Alfie To'oala, 7 Lee Beach, 6 Daniel Browne, 5 Matt Corker, 4 Kirill Kulemin, 3 Arthur Joly, 2 Greg Bateman, 1 Tom Bristow.
Replacements: 16 Dan George, 17 James Tideswell, 18 Billy Moss, 19 Adam Brown, 20 Julio Cabello Farias, 21 Mike Denbee, 22 Alex Davies, 23 Joe Ajuwa.

Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Josh Drauniniu, 13 Andy Short, 12 Alex Grove, 11 Ben Howard, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 Richard de Carpentier, 7 Sam Betty, 6 Neil Best, 5 Chris Jones, 4 James Percival (c), 3 Euan Murray, 2 Ed Shervington, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Rob O'Donnell, 18 John Andress, 19 Dean Schofield, 20 Jake Abbott, 21 Paul Hodgson, 22 Danny Gray, 23 Max Stelling.

Date: Saturday, May 4
Venue: Kassam Stadium
Kick-off: 14:30
Referee: Mathew Carley
Assistant Referees: Paul Dix and Stuart Terheege

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