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Nottingham rings the changes for Cup opener

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.

Llandovery previewFrom 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 row.

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 season.

 

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.

2012-10-12T11:50:00

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