Leeds Carnegie v London Irish preview

Leeds Carnegie Head Coach Neil Back has made ten changes, four of which are positional, to his side for this Sunday’s Aviva Premiership Rugby clash with London Irish at Headingley Carnegie.

England internationals Steve Thompson and Hendre Fourie return to the starting line up in place of Phil Nilsen and James Craig. Daniel Browne reverts to the second row instead of Craig to allow Fourie to come in at openside flanker.

The other change in the pack sees Gareth Hardy come in at loosehead prop instead of Mike MacDonald, who is amongst the replacements.

The half backs are completely changed with Adrian Jarvis alongside Scott Mathie and Lachlan MacKay switches from fly half to inside centre.

Luther Burrell comes into the centres alongside MacKay with Henry Fa’afili moving to the wing. Finally, Michael Stephenson moves to full back in place of Ceiron Thomas, who is amongst the replacements.

Leeds Carnegie’s solitary victory in the Premiership since round 21 last season was 15-13 at home to Gloucester on New Year’s Day. Leeds have lost their last three games in all competitions at Headingley Carnegie.

London Irish’s last eight encounters in all competitions have been won by the home side on the day, whilst the Exiles have not won on the road since they visited Exeter on 23 October.

Leeds have won just one of their last seven meetings with Irish: 23-13 at Madejski Stadium on 18 April 2010. London Irish have won on their last two trips to Headingley Carnegie.

London Irish have made one change from the side that beat Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership Rugby last week with Jonathan Joseph coming in on the wing in place of Adam Thompstone.

London Irish head coach, Toby Booth said: “It was good to get back to winning ways last week but this Sunday’s fixture presents a fresh challenge.

“The boys have trained well and we know what is at stake. We’re at the business end of the season now and so we will be going all out to build momentum and come away from the game with a win.”

Match : Leeds Carnegie v London Irish
Date : Sunday 6th March
Venue : Headingley Carnegie
Kick Off :3pm


Leeds Carnegie :15. Michael Stephenson , 14. Henry Fa’afili , 13. Luther Burrell , 12. Lachlan MacKay , 11. Peter Wackett , 10. Adrian Jarvis , 9. Scott Mathie , 1. Gareth Hardy , 2. Steve Thompson , 3. Phil Swainston , 4. Daniel Browne , 5. Marco Wentzel (c) , 6. Kearnan Myall , 7. Hendre Fourie , 8. Alfie To’oala ,

Replacements : 16. Scott Freer , 17. Mike MacDonald , 18. Gareth Denman , 19. Sean Hohneck , 20. Danny Paul , 21. Warren Fury , 22. Ceiron Thomas , 23. Scott Barrow

London Irish :15. Tom Homer; 14. Topsy Ojo; 13. Seilala Mapusua; 12. Dan Bowden; 11. Jonathan Joseph; 10. Chris Malone; 9. Paul Hodgson; 1. Clarke Dermody (captain); 2. James Buckland; 3. Faan Rautenbach; 4. Nick Kennedy; 5. Bob Casey; 6. Jamie Gibson; 7. Steffon Armitage; 8. George Stowers

Replacements: 16. Rob Herring; 17. Max Lahiff; 18. Paulica Ion; 19. Kieran Roche; 20. Richard Thorpe; 21. Adam Thompstone; 22. Ryan Lamb; 23. Darren Allinson

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