London Welsh make nine changes, including one positional, for Saturday’s Aviva Premiership fixture against Gloucester Rugby at Kingsholm (KO 3pm), with head coach Justin Burnell forced to shuffle his pack due to injuries.
Welsh head to Kingsholm minus five of the starting line up which faced Sale Sharks last weekend, with Koree Britton, Nick Scott, Richard Thorpe, Opeti Fonua and Seb Jewell all ruled out through injury.
The London Welsh starting XV includes seven members of its Championship winning team of last season, with five more named on the bench.
In the backs, Elliot Kear is named at full back in place of Jewell, with Alan Awcock coming into the side on the left wing for the sidelined Scott. Will Robinson and Piri Weepu form a new look half back partnership.
In the forwards, Eddie Aholelei comes in at loosehead with Rob Elloway set to make his first Premiership start in place of Britton. Dean Schofield partners James Down in the second row, with Ben West moving from lock to blindside flanker to replace the injured Thorpe. Ben Pienaar starts at Number 8 in place of Fonua.
London Welsh’s last visit to Kingsholm in March 2013 saw the Exiles edged out 15-14. Phil MacKenzie scored the game’s only try but five Freddie Burns’ penalties, including the winner with just five minutes remaining, saw the Cherry and Whites inflict a heart-breaking defeat on Welsh.
Welsh’s previous visit to Kingsholm, however, did produce a victory as Rob Lewis’ late try and Gordon Ross’ conversion gave the Exiles a 24-23 win in the sides’ pre-season friendly in August 2011.
London Welsh: 15. Elliot Kear*, 14. Seb Stegmann, 13. Nic Reynolds, 12. James Tincknell, 11. Alan Awcock, 10. Will Robinson, 9. Piri Weepu*, 1. Eddie Aholelei*, 2. Rob Elloway, 3. Taione Vea*, 4. Dean Schofield*, 5. James Down, 6. Ben West, 7. Carl Kirwan (C), 8. Ben Pienaar.
Replacements: 16. Nathan Morris, 17. Nathan Trevett, 18. Jack Gilding, 19. Matt Corker, 20. Lachlan McCaffrey, 21. Rob Lewis, 22. Olly Barkley*, 23. James Lewis.
* Denotes full international
Unavailable for selection due to injury are: Nathan Vella, Koree Britton, Matthew Dobson, Nathan Taylor, Pablo Henn, Ricky Reeves, Shane Cahill, Josh McNally, Darren Waters, Richard Thorpe, Chris Hala’ufia, Opeti Fonua, Alex Davies, Tim Molenaar, Nick Scott and Seb Jewell.
Tickets: London Welsh vs London Irish
Tickets for London Welsh’s Aviva Premiership fixture with London Irish on Saturday 28th February (kick-off 2:30pm) at the Kassam Stadium are available at:
or by calling the London Welsh Ticket Office on 01865 717661.
Join us for the Battle of the Exiles as we celebrate St David’s Day weekend!