THE Green and Whites will spearhead the pride of the RFU
Championship's assault on the Maori All Blacks on Saturday
Pride of the pack:
RFU Championship XV team shot.
Nottingham's trio of Tim Streather, Rhys Crane and Nic Rouse
have been named in the starting team to take on the formidable
Championship XV head coach Mike Rayer has been impressed by the
telepathic-like link between winger Crane and centre Streather, a
partnership nurtured as housemates and unleashed on England's
second tier competition with devastating effect this season.
Rouse teams up with Leeds Carnegie's Jacob Rowan at lock.
Nine of the twelve RFU Championship clubs are represented in the
starting line-up to face the Maori All Blacks, with Cornish Pirates
also claiming three of the spots in captain Gavin Cattle, prop Alan
Paver and open-side flanker Phil Burgess.
Moseley are represented in back-row Ben Piennar and centre
Jersey second-row Nathan Hannay represents the RFU Championship
newcomers, while Mark Irish, who was named RFU Championship Dream
XV loose-head for two consecutive seasons, starts next to Jon
Vickers at hooker.
On the bench is Newcastle Falcons prop Oliver Tomaszczyk,
alongside fellow front rows Ted Stagg (Rotherham) and Tom Davies
(Doncaster). Leeds Carnegie duo Calum Green and Ryan Burrows claim
their spot on the bench, completed by Bedford Blues' Luke Badlwin,
Jake Sharpe and Mark Atkinson.
The game against the RFU Championship XV is the second in a
three test tour for the Maori All Blacks, having lost to Leicester
Tigers on Tuesday in a hard fought contest at Welford Road.
"Mike, Diccon and I travelled to the game and were obviously
impressed with the quality on show." commented assistant coach Ian
"However, I've been equally impressed by the speed at which the
RFU Championship XV squad have come together as a team. These guys
are used to playing opposite each other week in week out in the RFU
Championship, and now they're lining up next to each other. They
have bonded very quickly and there is a strong team environment
Fellow assistant coach Diccon Edwards commented on the squad
"The team is truly representative of the RFU Championship
league. There is a nice blend of youth and experience that has
become synonymous with the competition and it's important that we
reflect that on the field come Saturday."
RFU Championship XV v Maori
All Blacks, November 17, Castle Park. KO 1205. Tickets available
via phone 01302 831388.
RFU Championship XV: 15 D Mama 14 R Crane 13 T
Streather 12 C Hayter 11 J Bassett 10 T Roberts 9 G Cattle (c) 1 M
Irish 2 J Vickers 3 A Paver 4 N Hannay 5 N Rouse 6 J Rowan 7
P Burgess 8 B Piennar
Replacements from: 16 T Stagg 17 T Davies 18 O
Tomaszczyk 19 C Green 20 R Burrows 21 L Baldwin 22 J Sharpe 23 M