Harlequins v London Irish Premiership Preview

Harlequins host London Irish at the Twickenham Stoop

London Irish have named Canadian International Ciaran Hearn to make his Aviva Premiership debut when they face Harlequins on Saturday at The Stoop.

Hearn is one of seven changes from the side that played Wasps last weekend with Gerard Ellis, Jebb Sinclair,David Sisi, Luke Narraway, Darren Allinson and Eoin Griffin all coming into the starting side.

Tom Court and Ben Franks line up alongside Gerard Ellis in the front row with Jebb Sinclair joining stand in Captain Matt Symons in the second row. David Sisi starts in the back row alongside Blair Cowan and Luke Narraway.

Darren Allinson is named at scrum half after his impressive performances in Europe with Chris Noakes at fly half. Eoin Griffin and Ciaran Hearn form a new midfield combination with Aseli Tikoirotuma reverting to the back three where he joins Alex Lewington and Topsy Ojo.

Tom Cruse, Tom Smallbone and Halani Aulika are the front row replacements with Eoin Sheriff and Ofisa Treviranus covering the second and back row. Brendan McKibbin, Theo Brophy-Clews and Sean Maitland are the back replacements.

London Irish Head Coach, Tom Coventry said: “We have adjusted the squad this week to allow players that have worked hard in training an opportunity, and equally to rest those who have played a lot of rugby.”

“The effort and endeavour in training has been brilliant and we are working hard to get our first win in the Premiership. It will be a tough test against an in-form Harlequins team on Saturday but we are looking forward to it.”

Harlequins were defeated 25-26 at Exeter Chiefs on Saturday but claimed two bonus points from the venture, making it three try bonus points in a row in all competitions.

Harlequins’ only loss in their last six matches in all competitions at the Twickenham Stoop was by a single point to Bath in Premiership Rugby on 8th May.

London Irish have lost all five Aviva Premiership Rugby games so far this season and as yet have not managed to tally a single league point.

The Exiles most recent victory in the tournament came when Sale visited Madejski Stadium on 12th April.

Harlequins have lost only one of their last eight Premiership Rugby fixtures against London Irish: 13-18 in Reading in October 2013 whilst the Exiles most recent victory at Twickenham Stoop came in the Premiership Rugby semi-final in 2009.

Meanwhile Harlequins have made four changes to the starting team that played Exeter Chiefs last week.

Ollie Lindsay-Hague is named on the wing, partnering Tim Visser and Mike Brown.

In the forwards Dave Ward starts at hooker and is joined in the front row by Adam Jones. Luke Wallace returns to the back row at openside flanker.

Among the replacements, Ross Chisholm will look to make his first senior appearance of the season.

Match : Harlequins v London Irish
Date : Saturday 5 December
Venue : Twickenham Stoop,
Kick Off : 3pm
Live on: N.A
Match Officials
Referee :Luke Pearce (43rd Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Ashley Rowden & Simon McConnell
TMO: David Sainsbury

Teams

Harlequins

15. Mike Brown , 14. Ollie Lindsay-Hague , 13. George Lowe , 12. Harry Sloan , 11. Tim Visser , 10. Nick Evans , 9. Danny Care (C) , , 1. Joe Marler , 2. Dave Ward , 3. Adam Jones , 4. James Horwill , 5. Sam Twomey , 6. Chris Robshaw , 7. Luke Wallace , 8. Nick Easter

Replacements : 16. Rob Buchanan , 17. Mark Lambert , 18. Will Collier , 19. Charlie Matthews , 20. Jack Clifford , 21. Karl Dickson , 22. Ben Botica , 23. Ross Chisholm

London Irish

15.Topsy Ojo*; 14.Alex Lewington; 13.Ciaran Hearn*; 12.Eoin Griffin; 11.Aseli Tikoirotuma*; 10.Chris Noakes; 9. Darren Allinson 1. Tom Court*; 2. Gerard Ellis; 3. Ben Franks*; 4. Matt Symons (Captain); 5. Jebb Sinclair*; 6. David Sisi; 7. Blair Cowan*; 8. Luke Narraway*

Replacements: 16.Tom Cruse; 17.Tom Smallbone; 18.Halani Aulika*; 19.Eoin Sheriff; 20.Ofisa Treviranus*; 21.Brendan McKibbin; 22.Theo Brophy Clews 23. Sean Maitland*

*Denotes International

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