TOP BAR - Fixtures

Dan Thomas makes return for Bristol Bears ‘A’ against Harlequins

Dan Thomas makes return for Bristol Bears ‘A’ against Harlequins

Dan Thomas makes his return from a long-term knee injury when Bristol Bears ‘A’ face Harlequins on Monday evening, live on FreeSports, kick off 7.45pm.

The back rower – who was a standout performer during the 2017/18 promotion campaign – has been unavailable since March.

Academy backs coach Sean Marsden’s side overcame Bath United in the opening round and will be aiming for a second successive victory in the Premiership Shield.

In the backline, Academy duo Matt Welsh and Charlie Powell are included, while Maliq Holden – who is contracted to Cornish Pirates – is listed on the wing.

Back rower Jake Heenan continues to skipper the side, while Joe Batley starts in the pack for the first time since recovering from serious illness.

“We were pleased with our performance in the opening game and now we face a tough challenge on the road against a strong Harlequins side,” said Marsden.

“We’ve selected a side with a blend of youth and experience and we’re excited to see how some of our young players stand up to the test of the demands of the Premiership Shield.

“It’s a massive plus to have Dan [Thomas] back in the fold. He’s worked incredibly hard with the medical staff to get back to fitness and he will be chomping at the bit to play.”

Bristol Bears ‘A’ include Scotland U18s fly half Nathan Chamberlain among the replacements for the clash at the Stoop.

Bristol Bears ‘A’ team to face Harlequins at the Stoop on Monday, September 10th (7.30pm KO):

15. Tom Pincus; 14. Charlie Powell, 13. Jack Tovey, 12. Matt Welsh, 11. Maliq Holden (Cornish Pirates); 10. Sam Bedlow, 9. Reiss Cullen; 1. Jake Woolmore, 2. Nick Fenton-Wells, 3. Ollie Dawe, 4. Joe Batley, 5. Ehize Ehizode, 6. Dan Thomas, 7. Jake Heenan (c), 8. Sam Graham.

Replacements: 16. Tom Lindsay, 17. Tom Rowland, 18. Nick English, 19. George Kloska, 20. Jack Capon, 21. Ed George (Hartpury), 22. Nathan Chamberlain, 23. Robbie Smith (Hartpury).

To get all the latest news from Premiership Rugby sign up to our Newsletter