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Parr rejoins pack to face Bedford

NOTTINGHAM prop Matt Parr has recovered from an eye injury to reclaim his starting spot against Bedford on Saturday (September 22).

Matt Parr action

ON HIS FEET: Matt Parr will be back in action against Bedford. PIC: Alison Bowden.

The inclusion of the seasoned loosehead sees Michael Holford shuffle across to tighthead and Ryan Bower move back to the replacements bench in what is the only change to the Green and Whites starting XV that was beaten by Rotherham last week. 

The 27-16 home loss to the Titans has done nothing to panic Nottingham, with the outfit determined to bounce back immediately against the Blues. 

Having secured back-to-back wins to start the campaign, forwards coach Neil Fowkes has the utmost confidence in the side responding the right way against the RFU Championship high flyers. 

"By no means are we ripping up everything we have done these past couple of weeks because of a loss," Fowkes said. 

"We showed what we were capable of against Leeds after a slow 20 minutes, using the maul to get into the game and setting the platform for the backs. Against Moseley we put another good 60 minutes together to grind out a tough win. 

"We all talk about producing an 80 minute performance and that's precisely what we need, because for 60 minutes against Rotherham we were comfortably in it." 

The letdown of conceding their first loss at home has been a powerful motivator at Nottingham's Lady Bay training ground this week. 

"Some boys came in last week and were hugely disappointed in how they performed personally. 

There was a good realisation with where we are at," Fowkes said. 

"In terms of selection it would be difficult to say 'that is your one chance gone' and change things immediately. No, they know what they have to do this week and we have kept the faith in them.

"There has been a good mindset at training all week with a real buzz about getting back out there, because everyone from the coaching team down wants to put things right." 

As for the solitary change, Parr's early season form was too good to ignore. 

"With how Matt performed in those first two league games, and the experience he brings to that front five, as soon as he was 100 per cent fit he was going to be back in the team," Fowkes said. 

The only other changes to the match day 22 is the inclusion of newly signed hooker Scott Wright from Sedgley and the recall of centre Joe Cobden to the bench.

No matter who is named to do the job, Fowkes stressed that the Green and Whites cannot fall victim to their own mistakes again. 

A spate of second half errors curtailed Nottingham's chances against Rotherham, culminating in blunders that led directly to both of the visitor's tries. 

"We've spoken about it a lot and seen it on the match footage plenty of times. We did a lot of things that made it hard for ourselves," Fowkes said. 

"What we must do is stick to our systems, stay with the programme and follow through with the game plan."

Nottingham Rugby team to face Bedford at Goldington Road on Saturday, September 22 (3pm kick-off): 15 Andrew Savage 14 David Jackson 13 Tim Streather 12 Joe Munro 11 Rhys Crane 10 James Arlidge 9 Sean Romans 1 Matt Parr 2 Joe Duffey 3 Michael Holford 4 Dan Montagu 5 Nic Rouse 6 Rupert Cooper 7 Brent Wilson 8 Alex Shaw. 

Replacements from: 16 Scott Wright 17 Ryan Bower 18 Joe Quinn 19 Tom Calladine 20 Finlay Barnham 21 Rory Lynn 22 Joe Cobden.


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