London Irish have made eight changes from the side that faced Bristol Bears in round 3 of the Premiership Rugby Cup for tomorrow afternoon’s round 4 clash with Sale Sharks at Madejski Stadium (kick-off 3pm).

Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi and Ollie Hoskins start at loosehead and tighthead prop respectively with Saia Fainga’a starting at hooker.

Franco van der Merwe leads the side this week from the second row with Barney Maddison alongside him. Matt Rogerson, Max Northcote-Green and Isaac Curtis-Harris start in the back row.

Scott Steele and Paddy Jackson form the half back pairing with Theo Brophy Clews backing up from last week to partner Curtis Rona in the midfield. Ben Loader, Tom Fowlie and Tom Parton form an all Academy graduate back three.

Ben Meehan is named as a replacement and in line to play his first match of the season.

London Irish director of rugby, Declan Kidney said: “Sale come into this match with an exemplary record winning all three of their matches, so we know we are in for a real battle on Saturday. The squad have worked hard in training this week and are looking forward to playing in front of our supporters at the Madejski again tomorrow.”

London Irish 

15. Tom Parton, 14. Tom Fowlie , 13. Curtis Rona, 12. Theo Brophy Clews, 11. Ben Loader, 10. Paddy Jackson, 9. Scott Steele, 1. Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, 2. Saia Fainga’a, 3. Oliver Hoskins; 4. Barney Maddison, 5. Franco van der Merwe ©, 6. Matt Rogerson, 7. Max Northcote-Green, 8. Isaac Curtis-Harris. 

16. Ben Atkins, 17. Harry Elrington, 18. Lovejoy Chawatama, 19. Ruan Botha, 20. George Nott, 21. Ben Meehan, 22. Stephen Myler, 23. Matt Williams

Sale Sharks

15. Simon Hammersley, 14. Chris Ashton, 13. Sam James, 12. Luke James, 11. Denny Solomona, 10. Rob du Preez, 9. Will Cliff, 1. Coenie Oosthuizen, 2. Rob Webber, 3. Jake Cooper Woolley, 4. Josh Beaumont, 5. Jean-Luc du Preez, 6. Jono Ross (C), 7. Ben Curry, 8. Daniel du Preez

Replacements:16. Akker van der Merwe, 17. Ross Harrison,18. Will-Griff John, 19. James Phillips, 20. Bryn Evans, 21. Embrose Papier, 22. Cameron Redpath, 23. Marland Yarde


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