28 October 2016
London Irish winger Joe Cokanasiga will make his league bow in this Sunday’s Greene King IPA Championship clash against London Scottish at the Athletic Ground (kick-off 3pm, live on Sky Sports 2).
Cokanasiga, 18, a recent inclusion in Martin Haag’s England Under-20 squad, was a try-scorer in last week’s 34-3 British and Irish Cup victory at home to Connacht Eagles as the Exiles made it eight wins out of eight in all competitions.
The Academy product is one of four changes from the Exiles’ previous Championship encounter against London Welsh, with Conor Gilsenan, Brendan McKibbin and Ben Ransom all handed starts.
Gilsenan, who skippered a youthful Exiles outfit to successive cup wins, starts at blindside flanker alongside the experienced Blair Cowan, while scrum-half McKibbin and winger Ransom come into the backline.
Making his 250th appearance against Welsh earlier this month, David Paice captains Irish in the absence of Luke Narraway, who continues his recovery from a hip injury.
Director of Rugby Nick Kennedy said: “We’re really looking forward to Sunday’s game and we know it’s going to be a tough game against a strong London Scottish side at their place in Richmond.
“I believe tickets have been selling fast so it’s going to be a great atmosphere. They are coached by Pete Richards, who we know very well from playing with him here at Irish – they had a great result last weekend against Ulster 'A' so they will be hoping to build on that result.
“They play some excellent rugby and they have attacking threats across the park, so we are going to have to be very alert to what they will be throwing at us.”
London Irish: 15 Tommy Bell, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Aseli Tikoirotuma, 12 Fergus Mulchrone, 11 Ben Ransom, 10 James Marshall, 9 Brendan McKibbin, 1 Tom Court, 2 David Paice (c), 3 Ben Franks, 4 George Robson, 5 Sebastien De Chaves, 6 Conor Gilsenan, 7 Blair Cowan, 8 Ofisa Treviranus
Replacements: 16 Jason Harris-Wright, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Will Lloyd, 20 Senitiki Nayalo, 21 Scott Steele, 22 Topsy Ojo
The Exiles’ next home game is against Yorkshire Carnegie on Saturday 5th November (kick-off 3pm) with tickets available by calling 0118 968 1016 or click here.
Adult tickets start at just £18 and £7 concessions, with kids just £1.
Hospitality packages are still available for this fixture, starting at just £36 +vat per person. For more information or to buy a package please email [email protected] or call 01932 750 113.