THE return of stalwart David Jackson to Nottingham
Rugby's starting team is one of 11 sweeping changes made to the
Green and Whites for their British and Irish Cup opener against
Llandovery on Saturday.
From the very top down, the East
Midland's club has shuffled personnel.
In a first for Nottingham, backs coach Ben Johnston will
stand-in as head coach for Martin Haag for the trip to Church Bank
to face the Principality Premiership leaders.
Teenage flanker and Cyprus international Luke Frixou, who joins
the RFU Championship side on loan from National League 3 side
Derby, will debut alongside Tom Calladine and Alex Shaw in the back
Finlay Barnham takes over at No. 9 and assumes captaincy from
Brent Wilson for the cross-border competition. Centre and young
Scottish international Jack Bradford, teenage fly half Rory Lynn,
lock Joe Quinn, hooker Scott Wright and prop Matt Shields are all
elevated to the starting team.
Winger Ryan Hough and centre Joe Cobden reclaim their place
among the backs, having both impressed during the opening weeks of
the league campaign. Jackson slots in at full back for the first
time this season, with Jack Cobden swapping to the left wing to
replace the injured Rhys Crane.
Shaw, lock Nic Rouse, prop Matt Parr and Jack Cobden are the
only players who hold their spot in the XV from the side that beat
Jersey 48-16 at Meadow Lane on Sunday.
Jake Barron, the Nottingham Rugby Academy up-and-comer on loan
from Scunthorpe, and Nottingham University centre David Priest have
been named as part of a finely balanced replacements bench that
includes both youth and experience.
Prop Michael Holford, second rower Dan Montagu and scrum half
Sean Romans, who have started all six championship matches, are
joined on the bench by hooker Ollie Taylor and full back James
Stokes who are yet to feature this season.
Johnston is excited by the eclectic mix that will take on a
Llandovery side has made a perfect start to its domestic league
campaign with six bonus point wins.
"This is an enthusiastic side with a lot of players who haven't
seen a lot of action this season and who are determined to step-up
and prove themselves," he said.
"And there is no tougher ask than going to the Valleys in Wales
to take on a Llandovery side that has made a great start to the
Nottingham Rugby team to face Llandovery at Church Bank.
Saturday, October 13 (3pm ko):
15 David Jackson 14 Ryan Hough 13 Joe Cobden 12 Jack Bradford 11
Jack Cobden 10 Rory Lynn 9 Finlay Barnham 1 Matt Parr 2 Scott
Wright 3 Matt shields 4 Joe Quinn 5 Nic Rouse 6 Luke Frixou 7 Tom
Calladine 8 Alex Shaw.
Replacements: 16 Michael Holford 17 Ollie Taylor 18 Dan Montagu
19 Jake Barron 20 Sean Romans 21 James Stokes 22 David Priest.