London Irish Director of Rugby Brian Smith has picked a squad with a mixture of youth and experience for the visit of Leicester Tigers in round one of the LV=Cup today at Madejski Stadium (kick-off 3pm).
Topsy Ojo captains the side from full-back, joined in the back three by Guy Armitage and Academy player Cameron Cowell who starts his first senior game for the Club.
The centre partnership of Eamonn Sheridan and Eoin Griffin is reunited with Myles Dorrian, who was man-of-the-match versus Rovigo, starting at fly-half with Darren Allinson at scrum half.
The front row sees Jamie Hagan alongside Jimmy Stevens and Leo Halavatau, with Kieran Low and Dave Lyons packing down in the second row.
Jebb Sinclair starts at number eight with Luke Narraway, who scored the crucial try last weekend against Grenoble in the European Challenge Cup, on the blindside and Conor Gilsenan wearing the number seven jersey.
The bench sees many of the London Irish senior Academy players given a chance to impress; with Tom Smallbone, Ollie Curry, Connor Murphy, Ross Neal and Harry Lightfoot-Brown hoping to get their first taste of senior rugby of the season after impressing in the A-League.
London Irish Director of Rugby, Brian Smith said: “We are happy with our results in the European Challenge Cup but our focus now turns to the LV= Cup. This tournament presents an opportunity to rotate the squad and give some of the younger players a chance to impress. Leicester have great strength in depth in their squad so whatever team they select they will be a tough side to play.”
London Irish team to play Leicester Tigers:
15. Topsy Ojo* (Captain); 14. Guy Armitage; 13. Eamonn Sheridan; 12. Eoin Griffin; 11. Cameron Cowell; 10. Myles Dorrian; 9. Darren Allinson; 1. Jamie Hagan; 2. Jimmy Stevens; 3. Leo Halavatau; 4. Dave Lyons; 5. Kieran Low*; 6. Luke Narraway*; 7. Conor Gilsenan; 8. Jebb Sinclair*
Replacements: 16. Mike Mayhew; 17. Tom Smallbone; 18. Geoff Cross*; 19. Dan Leo*; 20. Ollie Curry; 21. Connor Murphy; 22. Ross Neal; 23. Harry Lightfoot-Brown
Leicester Tigers team:
15. Tommy Bell; 14. Miles Benjamin; 13. Matt Smith; 12. Javiah Pohe; 11. Adam Thompstone; 10. Oli Bryant;9. Sam Harrison (Captain); 1. Tom Bristow; 2. Jake Farnworth; 3. Tiziano Pasquali; 4. Harry Wells; 5. Sebastian De Chaves; 6. Charlie Beckett; 7. Robert Barbieri;8. Paul Grant
Replacements: 16. Harry Thacker;17. Riccardo Brugnara; 18. Fraser Balmain; 19. Joe Maksymiw; 20. Ed Milne; 21. David Mele; 22. Jack Roberts; 23. Charlie Thacker