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Vuna back for Irish visit

Warriors winger Cooper Vuna returns to the starting line-up for Saturday’s all-important Aviva Premiership clash with London Irish at Sixways (kick-off 5.30pm).

The 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.”

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 
 

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