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The Big Guns are back for B&I Cup

Nottingham Rugby welcome back their big name players for their crucial British and Irish Cup match against Doncaster Knights on Friday (19 October).

Priest actionThe Green and Whites are looking to get their Cup campaign back on track following defeat to Llandovery in their last outing so the return of some of their 'big hitters' will help compliment the exciting young players in the team.

Dan Montagu comes in at Number 8 for his first start in the back row since returning to Meadow Lane from Bristol in the summer, while Michael Holford bolsters the front row at loosehead and Rupert Cooper returns to the second row engine room.

The bench is also designed to make an impact, with Matt Parr, Joe Duffey, James Arlidge, Brent Wilson and Sean Romans all named in the match day squad.

Nottingham's Head Coach Martin Haag said, "Matches against Doncaster are always battles, so bringing in some of the experienced players will help the younger players in the squad.  We know it's important to get the win tomorrow night, so going in with a good mix of youth and experience will hopefully set us up to do just that.

"Doncaster will also be looking to get their first win in the competition so we'll have to be at our best for the full 80 minutes.  Having a strong bench could well prove decisive so it's good to have those options."

Despite the changes, Haag is full of praise for the young players who took to the field in Wales against Llandovery.  20-year-old David Priest gets his first start for the club at centre since his arrival from the University of Nottingham in the summer while Haag is keen to take a further look at other young talents Jack Bradford, Matt Shields, Ollie Taylor, James Stokes, Luke Frixou and Jake Barron.

He said "I'm excited for these guys. Last week we had Shields and Bradford come along with really encouraging performances and this week Priest will get his chance to be more involved.

"It's an opportunity for these young guys to play and show what they can do. In training you can't always see what someone has, because that only really comes out when they are under pressure in a game scenario.

"We saw what Priesty can do in pre-season and, at times, he looked outstanding. The same goes for the two 18-year-olds, Frixou and Barron, who were excellent away to Llandovery.

"It's great to give these guys some game time but at the same time we want to win this match and progress in the competition and I think the mix we've gone for will give us the best chance of doing that."


Nottingham Rugby team to face Doncaster at Meadow Lane Stadium on Friday, 1945 kick-off: 15 James Stokes 14 David Jackson 13 David Priest 12 Jack Bradford 11 Jack Cobden 10 Rory Lynn 9 Finlay Barnham 1 Michael Holford 2 Ollie Taylor 3 Matt Shields 4 Joe Quinn 5 Rupert Cooper 6 Luke Frixou 7 Tom Calladine 8 Dan Montagu.

Replacements: 16 Matt Parr 17 Joe Duffey 18 Jake Barron 19 Brent Wilson 20 Sean Romans 21 James Arlidge 22 Andrew Savage.


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