TEAM NEWS: Exiles name side for A League opener

4 September 2017

London Irish have named their side for tonight’s Premiership Rugby A League clash against Gloucester United at Hazelwood (kick-off 7.30pm).

Summer signings Jake Schatz and Lasha Lomidze get the nod at second row and back row respectively, while there are also starts for senior heads Will Lloyd and Ben Ransom.  

After his exploits with England Under-20s at the Junior World Cup, Tom Parton marshals affairs at full back. Parton is one of 10 players to have enjoyed invaluable game time for the Exiles during their Championship-winning campaign.

Tom Fowlie and Matt Williams form an exciting centre partnership, while Jacob Atkins starts at fly-half alongside scrum-half Rory Brand. England Under-18 duo Ollie Hassell-Collins and Josh Basham get their chance to impress from the start.

A try scorer in Irish’s pre-season victory over Richmond, Isaac Curtis-Harris starts at openside flanker, while Harry Elrington, Tom Woolstencroft and Lovejoy Chawatama all pack down in the front row.

Academy manager Patrick O’Grady said: “I’m really looking forward to seeing the boys in action tonight and we’re expecting a tough game against a very good Gloucester team.

“There is a mixture of both youth and experience in the squad tonight and it will be interesting to see how we gel as a team.

“We had a good work out against Loughborough Students last week, which was good preparation ahead of this evening and we’re looking forward to the game.”  

Members are free on presentation of their Membership card. Tickets are on sale on the gate for £5 for adults, U16s are free and parking is £5.  

London Irish: 15 Tom Parton, 14 Ollie Hassell-Collins, 13 Tom Fowlie, 12 Matt Williams, 11 Ben Ransom, 10 Jacob Atkins, 9 Rory Brand, 1 Harry Elrington, 2 Tom Woolstencroft, 3 Lovejoy Chawatama, 4 Josh Basham, 5 Will Lloyd (c), 6 Jake Schatz, 7 Isaac Curtis-Harris, 8 Lasha Lomidze

Replacements: 16 Isaac Miller, 17 Elliot Roofe, 18 Austin Hay, 19 Dom McGeekie, 20 Max Northcote-Green, 21 George Pickersgill, 22 Ben Harris, 23 Louis Flynn  

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