Hill brings back big guns for trip to Quins

Bristol Head Coach Richard Hill names a more familar looking line up as his team return to Heineken Cup action against Harlequins this weekend.

Only ten players remain in the squad from last weekend’s EDF Energy Cup tie at home to Leeds Carnegie when a number of fringe and Academy players featured.

It’s the first of a European double header against the men from the Stoop which will go a long way to deciding the final outcome of the group 3 standings a fact not lost on Hill when he announced his team:

“It’s a big game for Harlequins and ourselves. We’ve not hidden from that fact. Harlequins have a very slim chance of going through having drawn their game at home. But, with us having beaten Stade Francais, we still have a realistic chance of going through.”

“It’s a huge incentive for us and we’ll really be going for it at the weekend. The fact that it’s a Heineken cup weekend again has helped to focus the minds of the players after last week and gives a little extra edge to training.”

“We don’t want to waste the win over Stade Francais and to win away from home in this competition would be a huge bonus and give us momentum not just in this competition but also in the Guinness Premiership over the Christmas period.”

Bristol are able to field both Neil Brew and David Hill under Heineken Cup rules whilst Tom Arscott is not quite ready after an ankle injury.

“We’re going back to the 10/ 12/ 13 trio that served us so well against Stade Francais whilst Tom Arscott is still a week away. We could have pushed him but Lee Robinson played very well last week and Tom should be fit next week.”

Hill goes with Alex Clarke and Jason Hobson in the front row alongside Mark Regan with the experience of Darren Crompton to call upon from the bench.

And it’s a heavyweight back row selected in Matt Salter, Alfie To’oala, and Andrew Blowers with Joe El Abd named amongst the replacements. Dan Ward-Smith is a late absentee due to flu.

“The back row was a selection thing as I have an embarrasment of riches there. It was a tough call this week. I can pick any three to start and they’ll do a good job.”

Bristol Rugby:

Luke Arscott; Lee Robinson, Rob Higgitt, Neil Brew, David Lemi; David Hill, Shaun Perry; Alex Clarke, Mark Regan, Jason Hobson; Roy Winters, Sean Hohneck; Matt Salter (capt), Alfie To’oala, Andrew Blowers


David Blaney, Darren Crompton, Gareth Llewellyn, Joe El Abd, Brian O’Riordan, Jason Strange, Sam Cox



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