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TEAM NEWS: Bristol Rugby vs Sale Sharks

TEAM NEWS: Bristol Rugby vs Sale Sharks

Jason Woodward will make his competitive debut when Bristol Rugby host Sale Sharks in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Friday (7.45pm KO).

The New Zealander comes into a new-look midfield alongside Will Hurrell, with Jack Tovey switching to the wing.

Bristol make seven changes from the side that lost in the opening round of the competition last weekend, with skipper Jordan Crane among those returning to the starting line-up.

Acting Head Coach Mark Tainton said: “The guys have prepared well during the week and there’s a collective focus within the group about what we need to do.

“It’s a boost for us to play at Ashton Gate in front of the home supporters and we’re looking forward to the challenge that awaits from Sale Sharks.”

Bristol Rugby’s Samoan contingent – as well as Giorgi Nemsadze and Thretton Palamo – are away on international duty – while Jon Fisher (head) and Olly Robinson (groin), Jordan Williams (knee) are unavailable.

Shane Geraghty (ankle), Ben Mosses (knee), Gavin Henson (shoulder), Nick Carpenter (shoulder), Ryan Bevington (knee), Adrian Jarvis (calf), Marc Jones (knee), Callum Sheedy (hamstring), Max Crumpton (knee), Joe Joyce (foot), Martin Roberts (elbow), Sam Jeffries (heel) and Ross McMillan (knee) are also sidelined.

Marc Jones and Adrian Jarvis are included in the 23-man squad after returning to full fitness.

Bristol Rugby team to face Sale Sharks at Ashton Gate on Friday, 11 November (7.45pm KO):

15. Jack Wallace; 14. Tom Varndell, 13. Jason Woodward, 12. Will Hurrell, 11. Jack Tovey; 10. Billy Searle, 9. Rhodri Williams; 1. Kyle Traynor, 2. Rob Hawkins 3. Jamal Ford-Robinson, 4. Ian Evans, 5. Mark Sorenson, 6. Mitch Eadie, 7. Nick Fenton-Wells, 8. Jordan Crane (c).

Replacements: 16. Marc Jones, 17. Soane Tonga’uiha, 18. James Hall, 19. James Phillips, 20. Nick Koster, 21. Will Cliff, 22. Adrian Jarvis, 23. Luke Arscott.

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