Bristol make changes for Tigers clash

Bristol Rugby, as widely predicted, have announced several changes to their line up to face Leicester Tigers at Welford Road in the Guinness Premiership on Saturday.


It has been revealed this week that a few regulars, including skipper Matt Salter, have now played their last game of the season and are being given an extra few weeks off to prepare for next season.


In addition, winger Tom Arscott and back row forward Joe El Abd have both been booked in for minor surgery in a bid to get them both back in action as soon as possible.


As a result, Lee Robinson returns on the right wing in place of Tom Arscott for his first start since the victory over Gloucester on February 17th.


The other significant change in the backline sees a full Premiership debut for centre Luke Eves who turned 19 only last Friday.


In the pack, Peter Bracken will also make his first start in the Premiership for the club and there are recalls for Mariano Sambucetti, Iain Grieve and Andrew Blowers.


Academy hooker Ryan Prosser, who recently signed a senior deal with the club, is named amongst the replacements. Alfie To’oala returns after injury and Graeme Beveridge features for the first time since January.


Leicester may have slipped from second to sixth place in the table over the past month but they’ll still present a stiff challenge according to Assistant Coach Paul Hull.


“Welford Road has always been a difficult place to play but, as players and coaches, you look forward to these types of challenge.”


“Leicester will no doubt name a strong side and be looking for the points as they need a win to stay in play off contention. They’ve had to rotate their side in the past week or so as they’ve had a tough fixture schedule.”


“But they’ve got an outstanding squad and a fantastic home record and not many teams go to Welford Road and win.”


“But we haven’t spoken about that this week, we’ve just focussed on ourselves. We’re going up there with a slightly different side and quite a few of the boys haven’t played there so won’t have any hang ups about the venue.”


“We’ve got some young players in the squad and they’re there on merit. These players have been playing outstandingly well for the United, have been knocking on the door and have earned their places. They deserve their opportunity.”


Bristol Rugby:


Luke Arscott; Lee Robinson, Neil Brew, Luke Eves, David Lemi; Ed Barnes, Shaun Perry (capt); Darren Crompton, Scott Linklater, Peter Bracken; Mariano Sambucetti, Sean Hohneck; Iain Grieve, Andrew Blowers, Dan Ward-Smith


Replacements:


Ryan Prosser, Alex Clarke, Nathan Budgett, Alfie To’oala, Graeme Beveridge, Jason Strange, Rob Higgitt.

 


Rugbyweek.com

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