20 January 2018
TEAM NEWS: Franks skippers Exiles against Yorkshire Carnegie
4 November 2016
London Irish have made two changes for tomorrow’s crunch Greene King IPA Championship clash with Yorkshire Carnegie at the Madejski Stadium (kick-off 3pm).
Gerard Ellis replaces the injured David Paice at hooker, while Mike Coman comes in for Conor Gilsenan in the second-row.
Exiles Director of Rugby Nick Kennedy has opted for the same backline that served him well during last weekend’s comprehensive 62-12 bonus-point victory at London Scottish.
Tommy Bell, who racked up 32 points during a man-of-the-match display that day, continues in the full-back berth, with Joe Cokanasiga and Ben Ransom providing the pace on either wing.
Fergus Mulchrone and Aseli Tikoirotuma form the centre partnership, with scrum-half Brendan McKibbin and fly-half James Marshall combining at half-back.
Double World Cup-winning prop Ben Franks skippers the Exiles in the absence of Luke Narraway, the back-row continuing his recovery from a hip injury.
Getting the call to represent the Barbarians against Fiji next week, Franks is one of a number of experienced heads in the Exiles’ pack. Tom Court pulls on the loose-head jersey and is supported by towering locks Sebastian De Chaves and George Robson.
Scotland international Blair Cowan partners Coman at openside flanker, with Ofisa Treviranus adding his weight at number-eight.
Like their Yorkshire counterparts, Irish have won all seven of their Championship games this season to set-up a mouth-watering showdown between the two sides.
Exiles Assistant Coach Clark Laidlaw is relishing the prospect of going toe-to-toe with Carnegie, saying: “Yorkshire Carnegie have been terrific so far this season, winning all of their league games so we are expecting a tough game from them.
“They are a well-coached side, who play some really good rugby – they have threats across the park.
“We are excited ahead of the game and we are looking forward to what promises to be an entertaining encounter between the league’s in-form teams.”
Tickets are available for tomorrow’s game (kick-off 3pm) by calling 0118 968 1016 or click here.
Adult tickets start at just £18 and £7 concessions, with kids just £1.
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 Gerard Ellis, 3 Ben Franks (c), 4 Sebastian De Chaves, 5 George Robson, 6 Mike Coman, 7 Blair Cowan, 8 Ofisa Treviranus
Replacements: 16 Todd Gleave, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Will Lloyd, 20 Senitiki Nayalo, 21 Scott Steele, 22 Topsy Ojo