In the front row, Ceri Jones replaces Pablo Cardinali at loosehead prop. Bill Davison returns to the second row in place of Jim Evans and Simon Miall comes in for Alex Codling, who has suffered a re-occurrence of the hamstring injury that kept him out of action earlier in the season.
In the back row, Roy Winters makes his first start of the season having recovered from the ruptured Achilles he suffered in pre-season training. With Winters starting at number eight, André Vos moves to the open side flank. Luke Sherriff starts on the bench alongside Tony Diprose.
"This is a crucial game for both sides," said Mark Evans, NEC Harlequins Chief Executive. "We always have massive battles against London Irish and I am sure that Sunday will be no different, in front of a near capacity crowd at Reading."
"We all know that it is incredibly tight in the bottom half of the table with just five points separating six teams, so every game and every result is important."
NEC Harlequins: 15 Nathan Williams, 14 Dan Luger, 13 Will Greenwood, 12 Mel Deane, 11 Ben Gollings, 10. Paul Burke, 9 Billy Fulton, 8 Roy Winters, 7 André Vos (captain), 6 Ace Tiatia, 5 Simon Miall, 4 Bill Davison, 3 Jon Dawson, 2 Tani Fuga1, 1 Ceri Jones.Replacements: 16 Pablo Cardinali, 17 Karl Rudzki, 18 Luke Sherriff, 19 Tony Diprose, 20 Scott Bemand, 21 Viliame Satala, 22 Ugo Monye.
Kick-off: 14.30 GMT