Brew is back as Bristol take on Quins

New Zealand centre Neil Brew returns after injury to take up his place in the Bristol midfield as Richard Hill’s team entertain Harlequins on Easter Sunday.

Brew has been sidelined with a knee injury since the Heineken Cup clash with Cardiff back in January but has been back in full training for a couple of weeks now and is raring to go.

Brew replaces Rob Higgitt who picked up a knock at Newcastle last weekend and the other change in the backline sees Samoan international David Lemi come in for Anthony Elliott who heads off for England Sevens duty this weekend.

Up front there are three changes from last weekend. Alex Clarke starts in place of Darren Crompton at loose head, Nathan Budgett comes in for Sean Hohneck in the second row and Andrew Blowers starts on the open side in place of Joe El Abd.

Assistant Coach Paul Hull, who signed a new three year contract himself this week, admitted that life has become easier in recent weeks when it comes to team selection with several players returning from injury.

“Shaun Perry, Dan Ward-Smith, Neil Brew, Tom Arscott and Nathan Budgett are all back in the picture now which freshens things up and gives us the option to rest a few.”

“And those guys are hungry to play because they haven’t played for weeks. That has given us a really big lift and hopefully the impetus to go and make it three wins from three.”

“The atmosphere has been helped by having those key individuals coming back in. They want to keep training standards high. So when people were feeling a bit tired, these guys have come back and brought up the energy levels.

“Richard (Hill) has had a philosophy for the last couple of weeks, now that we are coming towards the end of a long season, to take the opportunity to rest one or two people if we can.”

Hull also acknowledged that Quins will pose a tough test on Sunday:

“Dean Richards has got a good squad there and he has them playing well. They have good physicality and play hard, something he’s brought to Harlequins from Leicester.”

“They started well this year but then had a little blip which is when we played them in the Heineken Cup. But now they’re coming back to form and it’s going to be an interesting battle.”

Bristol Rugby:

Luke Arscott; Tom Arscott, Neil Brew, Sam Cox, David Lemi; Ed Barnes, Shaun Perry; Alex Clarke, Scott Linklater, Jason Hobson; Roy Winters, Nathan Budgett; Matt Salter (capt), Andrew Blowers, Dan Ward-Smith


Mark Regan, Darren Crompton, Sean Hohneck, Iain Grieve, Haydn Thomas, Jason Strange, Greg Barden


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