Eves and Arscott return for Bristol’s Irish clash

Bristol’s Head Coach Paul Hull opts for continuity this week, laregly sticking with the squad that stormed to victory last weekend.

Try scoring favorite Lee Robinson remains at 14 this Saturday, with brothers Tom and Luke Arscott completing the back three. The front row, made up of Mark Irish, Scott Linklater and Darren Crompton, is unchanged from last week’s victory at The Memorial Stadium.

The Madejski Stadium was the host of Bristol’s last relegation to National Division 1 in 2003 and this weekend could prove vital in ensuring that history doesn’t repeat itself.

Bristol’s recent form, which has seen the squad improve week upon week, would suggest that this Saturday’s game could prove a nail biter. Whilst Bristol will be fighting to keep the flicker of Premiership survival alive, London Irish are pushing hard for the play-offs.

When Paul Hull addressed the media this week, he insisted that whilst the team had enjoyed a much deserved win over Worcester, their focus now turned to Saturday.

“We gave the players 2 days off in the week. It’s been a long campaign so having a rest after a bruising encounter at the weekend is the right decision even if we’d have lost. We’re now just trying to refocus the minds, enjoy the victory, but move on to the next fixture against London Irish.”

“There’s been a good spirit for the last couple of weeks and we’re obviously really pleased to have got the win. I was really pleased with the six tries, although we could have potentially scored a few more, which we talked about. We needed to be a bit more clinical in certain areas of the pitch but ultimately we’re really pleased. “

“Worcester had some spells before and after half time but I think we dominated long periods of the game and unfortunately missed a few kicks at goal. I’m just happy we got the result, played some good rugby and got some tries, which is what we’ve been working towards”

“It’s going to be a tough fixture. They’re playing and battling on for different reasons. They’re trying to get to the top of the table to secure their chances of a Premiership title and qualification for the Heineken Cup, and we’re obviously at the bottom of the table trying to survive. There are no easy games in this league, everyone has something to play for.”

“I think it’s their complete game. Their set piece is good. They play a good fifteen man running game with a very good back three. They like to speed the game up and play to a good tempo, so we have to counter that and try and impose ourselves on them, matching their physicality and pace and then aim to score some tries ourselves.”

Finally, after the club announced the signing of two further players this week, Ross Johnson (Cardiff Blues) and Dan Montagu (Nottingham), as well as the resigning of England U20 captain and Bristol centre Luke Eves, Paul stressed that recruitment was still ongoing, but nearing a close.

“We’re nearly done. It’s been a lot of work behind the scenes. I’ve had to start from scratch but the players have been really patient”

London Irish Vs Bristol Rugby, Saturday 4th April, KO 15.00

Bristol Rugby:

Luke Arscott; Lee Robinson, Luke Eves, Junior Fatialofa, Tom Arscott, Ed Barnes, Haydn Thomas; Mark Irish, Scott Linklater, Darren Crompton, Mariano Sambucetti, Robert Sidoli, Redford Pennycook, Joe El Abd, Dan Ward-Smith

Replacements:Ollie Hayes, Wayne Thompson, Roy Winters, Alfie To’oala, Shaun Perry, Greg Barden, David Lemi.



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