Elliott to make Bristol debut against Harlequins

Anthony Elliott, fresh from his try scoring exploits on the IRB World Sevens Series circuit, will make his first competitive start for Bristol against Harlequins on Sunday.

With Tom Arscott not quite ready after an ankle injury and Lee Robinson picking up a hand injury in last weekend’s fixture at Quins, Head Coach Richard Hill had to introduce a new face on the right wing.

Craig Morgan, scorer of four tries in the A League on Monday night, was also in contention but it’s Elliott who gets the nod for Sunday’s key clash as Richard announced today:

“We’re going to start with Anthony Elliott which is good for him. Craig Morgan, although he scored four tries the other night, picked up a few bangs and a dead leg. He tried to train but couldn’t complete the session.”

“It’s a great opportunity for Anthony Elliott. He’s played some rugby with the England Sevens group and enjoyed himself in Dubai and South Africa and is looking very sharp.”

“He’s got genuine pace and is a big powerful man. For the United, we’ve seen him run in tries from 60 and 70 metres.He’s got what they call sustained pace. If he gets away from you he’s gone. Potentially, he’s got real talent.”

Hill is also forced into changes in the back row as Alfie To’oala twisted his ankle last weekend so Joe El Abd comes in at openside.

In addition, Andrew Blowers has had a bug this week so Dan Ward-Smith starts at number eight with the All Black named on the bench and one final tactical change sees Darren Crompton replace Alex Clarke at loosehead.

If Bristol win, and the Cardiff Blues vs Stade Francais result goes the right way on Saturday, Bristol could well be leading Pool 3 going into the New Year.

However, Hill knows that Quins will present a tough test.

“The word coming out of the Harlequins camp is that they’ve had a right old beasting this week particularly on full contact.”

“They’ll bring a highly motivated squad and will be looking to get their season back on track. We’ll probably have to produce a better performance than last week but we’ve had an outstanding week of training so I’m happy.”

“As a club, it’s great that we’re still alive in the Heineken Cup because it gives us a bit of an edge and keeps everybody focussed. We’ve established ourselves in England over the past couple of seasons and it’d be good to get the Bristol name known throughout Europe as well.”

Bristol Rugby:

Luke Arscott; Anthony Elliott, Rob Higgitt, Neil Brew, David Lemi; David Hill, Shaun Perry; Darren Crompton, Mark Regan, Jason Hobson; Roy Winters, Sean Hohneck; Matt Salter, Joe El Abd, Dan Ward-Smith


David Blaney, Alex Clarke, Gareth Llewellyn, Andrew Blowers, Brian O’Riordan, Jason Strange, Sam Cox.



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