Harlequins v London Irish LV=Cup preview

There are a number of Harlequins players who are regaining fitness from early season injuries, and Conor O’Shea also has much young talent at his disposal heading into Saturday’s Anglo Welsh LV=Cup fixture.

Tom Williams returns from injury at full back, alongside Sam Smith and Seb Stegmann in the back three. Tom Casson will start alongside Ben Urdapilleta in the centre, outside Rory Clegg and Richard Bolt who start as half backs together for the first time this season.

James Johnston starts in the front row at tight head alongside Joe Marler and Chris Brooker. Charlie Matthews makes his first start after some impressive appearances from the bench, alongside Sam Twomey to form an all England u20 second row partnership.

Will Skinner returns to the starting line up for the first time since his injury in the opening game of the season against Irish, and will captain the team alongside Luke Wallace and Chris York, who have made positive starts to the League campaign.

The bench sees another of Harlequins England U20 contingent, Rob Buchanan awaiting another opportunity in the front row, alongside Mark Lambert and Kyle Sinckler who made his debut earlier in the season.

George Merrick will provide cover in the second row and Joe Trayfoot, the back row.

England 7’s star, Ollie Lindsay Hague will provide cover across the back line along with Charlie Walker and Matt Hopper who will look to make his competitive Quins debut following his move from Cornish Pirates in the off season and unfortunate pre-season injury.

James Buckland and Alex Gray come into the forward pack for David Paice and Chris Hala’ufia respectively. Paul Hodgson and Adrian Jarvis will forge a new half back combination and Guy Armitage and Jonathan Spratt will form the centre partnership. Nick Kennedy will captain the side.

London Irish head coach Toby Booth said: “The LV=Cup presents a great opportunity to continue the momentum we have gained in the Premiership. It is a tournament we will be taking seriously and want to do well in.”

Match : Harlequins v London Irish
Date :Saturday 15 October
Venue : Twickenham Stoop
Kick off : 15.00



15 Tom Williams, 14 Seb Stegmann, 13 Ben Urudapilleta, 12 Tom Casson, 11 Sam Smith, 10 Rory Clegg, 9 Richard Bolt, 8 Chris York, 7 Will Skinner, 6 Luke Wallace, 5 Charlie Matthews, 4 Sam Twomey, 3 James Johnston, 2 Chris Brooker , 1 Joe Marler.

Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 George Merrick, 20 Joe Trayfoot, 21 Olly Hauge, 22 Matt Hopper, 23 Charlie Walker.

London Irish

15 Tom Homer; 14 Topsy Ojo; 13 Jonathan Spratt, 12 Guy Armitage, 11 Adam Thompstone, 10 Adrian Jarvis, 9, Paul Hodgson, 8 Alex Gray, 7 Jamie Gibson, 6 Declan Danaher, 5 Bryn Evans, 4 Nick Kennedy (Captain), 3 Faan Rautenbach, 2 James Buckland, 1 Max Lahiff

Replacements: 16 Brian Blaney, 17 Mark George, 18 Paulica Ion, 19 David Sisi, 20 Richard Thorpe, 21 Joe Ansbro, 22 Steven Shingler, 23 Ross Samson

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