Bristol Bears name side for Russian mission
Bristol Bears travel to Enisei-STM in Sochi as the European Challenge Cup returns on Saturday (12pm KO).
Pat Lam’s men must record victory over the Russian outfit to keep their hopes of progressing to the knockout stages alive.
Bristol name all an-EQP matchday squad, with four changes to the side that beat La Rochelle in the previous round of the competition.
Luke Daniels and Andy Uren come into the back line, while Nick Fenton-Wells and Jake Armstrong are included in the front row.
“Playing in Russia will be a unique experience for a lot of the guys but we’ve ensured that the travelling and logistics involved won’t affect our preparation,” said head coach Lam.
“We have a great opportunity to go to Sochi and come home with the victory if we approach the fixture with the right mindset and bring physicality to all areas of our game.”
With Tom Lindsay unavailable following a family bereavement, Harry Thacker is named in the 23-man matchday squad.
Bristol Bears team to face Enisei-STM at Yug Stadium on Saturday, January 12 (12pm KO GMT):
15. Mat Protheroe; 14. Tom Pincus, 13. Piers O’Conor, 12. Sam Bedlow, 11. Luke Daniels; 10. Callum Sheedy (co-capt), 9. Andy Uren; 1. Jake Woolmore, 2. Nick Fenton-Wells, 3. Jake Armstrong, 4. Ed Holmes, 5. Joe Joyce, 6. Nick Haining, 7. Jake Heenan, 8. Jordan Crane (co-capt).
Replacements: 16. Harry Thacker, 17. Ollie Dawe, 18. Lewis Thiede, 19. John Hawkins, 20. Sam Graham, 21. Nic Stirzaker, 22. Tiff Eden, 23. Charlie Powell.
Unavailable: Will Capon (shoulder), Tom Lindsay (family bereavement), Shaun Malton (groin), Sione Faletau (ankle), Chris Vui (groin), Aly Muldowney (ankle) Joe Latta (eye), Sam Jeffries (back), Joe Batley (ankle), James Dun (illness), Siale Piutau (elbow), Aaron Chapman (ankle), Charles Piutau (hamstring), Alapati Leiua (ankle), Ryan Edwards (Achilles).