Worcester Warriors v London Irish Premiership Preview

Worcester Warriors host London Irish at Sixways Stadium

Worcester Warriors have named their team to play London Irish in the Aviva Premiership at Sixways and included winger Cooper Vuna.

The two time Australia international is the only change to the starting 15 as Warriors go in search of a Club-record fourth consecutive Aviva Premiership win.

Vuna, Warriors’ joint-top tryscorer this season, is reinstated in the side to join Bryce Heem and Chris Pennell in the back three.

Wynand Olivier and Ryan Mills start in midfield for Warriors while Francois Hougaard and Tom Heathcote continue their half-back partnership.

GJ van Velze, who signed a new deal with the Club this week, will again lead the side at number eight in a back row with Phil Dowson and Carl Kirwan.

The experienced Donncha O’Callaghan, who has featured in every Premiership game this term, keeps his place in the second row alongside Darren Barry, while Val Rapava Ruskin, Niall Annett and Nick Schonert occupy the front row.

Centre Alex Grove has returned from a loan spell at London Scottish and could make his first appearance since January if he shows from the replacements bench.

Jaba Bregvadze also returns to the squad after international duties with Georgia and Matt Cox is called up to the replacements having not featured since Warriors’ trip to the Madejski Stadium back in early February.

Director of Rugby Dean Ryan said: “We haven’t targeted games, we’ve just targeted playing well every week, learning and getting better.

“Irish are on a decent run of form in terms of where they have started from. They’re a dangerous opponent.

“We’ve got to make sure we get our bits right and give ourselves a chance to come home again.

“Wins on the road have really helped us but it’s here that we’ve set the bedrock of this decent league position by consistently getting wins at home.”

Worcester Warriors have won their last three Aviva Premiership Rugby matches but have never won four in a row in the history of the tournament.

The Warriors have won their last two matches in the tournament at Sixways, against Sale Sharks and Gloucester.

London Irish’s 23-18 victory at home to Gloucester on Sunday ended an unwanted run of five successive defeats.

The Exiles have not won successive encounters in the competition since February 2014. London Irish’s solitary away win in any competition this season came on a trip to Agen in the European Challenge Cup in January.

London Irish’s only defeat in their last 16 Aviva Premriship Rugby encounters with the Warriors was 11-35 at Sixways in September 2012.

London Irish have one change as Elliott Stooke returns to the pack, partnering Matt Symons in the second row, while back row Ofisa Treviranus is named amongst the replacements after recovering from a knee injury.

“Elliott has done a good job since joining the Club and we like his physicality and effort around the field,” said Head Coach Tom Coventry, who is also pleased to welcome back Samoa international captain Treviranus to the match day squad.

“Ofisa brings an x-factor, and we are looking forward to bringing him off the bench at some point in the game. He’s had a very fluctuating season with injuries on the back of the World Cup, and it’s great to have him back in the side,” added Coventry.

The Exiles take on an in form Warriors outfit buoyed by a run of four wins out of five games, a sequence that has moved Dean Ryan’s men up to tenth in the table.

Coventry said: “Worcester are clearly one of the form teams in the competition at the moment, and they have picked up some valuable wins in the last few games.

“They have recruited well of late and their scrum and lineout is strong, so they will offer us a real threat.”

Match : Worcester Warriors v London Irish
Date : Saturday 26 March
Venue : Sixways
Kick Off : 5.30pm
Live on: N.A
Match Officials
Referee :Greg Garner (95th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Robin Goodliffe & Jonathan Healy.
TMO: Sean Davey.

Teams

Warriors

15 Chris Pennell , 14 Bryce Heem , 13 Wynand Olivier , 12 Ryan Mills , 11 Cooper Vuna , 10 Tom Heathcote , 9 Francois Hougaard , 1 Val Rapava Ruskin , 2 Niall Annett , 3 Nick Schonert , 4 Donncha O’Callaghan , 5 Darren Barry , 6 Phil Dowson , 7 Carl Kirwan , 8 GJ van Velze

Replacements : 16 Jaba Bregvadze , 17 Na’ama Leleimalefaga , 18 James Johnston , 19 Dan Sanderson , 20 Matt Cox , 21 Luke Baldwin , 22 Ryan Lamb , 23 Alex Grove.

London Irish

15 Sean Maitland, 14 Alex Lewington, 13 Ciaran Hearn, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Topsy Ojo, 10 Greig Tonks, 9 Scott Steele, 1 Tom Court, 2 Tom Cruse, 3 Halani Aulika, 4 Elliott Stooke, 5 Matt Symons, 6 Luke Narraway (c), 7 Blair Cowan, 8 Rob McCusker

Replacements: 16 David Paice, 17 Tom Smallbone, 18 Leo Halavatau, 19 Jerry Sexton, 20 Ofisa Treviranus, 21 Brendan McKibbin, 22 Theo Brophy Clews, 23 Fergus Mulchrone

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CAPTCHA *

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close