31 March 2017
England Under-20 Six Nations Grand Slam-winning heroes Tom Parton, Joe Cokanasiga and Theo Brophy Clews have been named in London Irish's starting line-up for this Sunday's British and Irish Cup Semi-final against Jersey Reds at the Madejski Stadium (kick-off 2pm).
The Red Rose achieved the Grand Slam by virtue of a narrow 14-10 victory over Ireland in Dublin on St Patrick's Day, with the Exiles trio playing an integral role in the contest.
Now setting their sights on a place in the cup final, Brophy Clews gets the nod at fly-half, while Cokanasiga and Parton occupy both wings.
Racking up 96 points since making the switch from Edinburgh just over a year ago, full-back Greig Tonks will be hoping he can hit the century mark this weekend. The Scot pulls on the No. 15 jersey and marshals a backline which includes scrum-half Darren Allinson and centres Ross Neal and Ciaran Hearn.
Conor Gilsenan, twice a British and Irish Cup winner with Leinster ‘A’, is given the captaincy and spearheads a back row comprising of Jerry Sexton and Senitiki Nayalo. Will Lloyd and Jebb Sinclair pack down in the second row, while Harry Elrington, Todd Gleave and Ollie Hoskins lead from the front.
Irish Director of Rugby Nick Kennedy said: “It’s great to welcome back the England Under-20 boys, who did magnificently in this year’s Under-20 Six Nations.
“That experience, coupled with their exposure to first team rugby this season has certainly aided their development significantly and I’m looking forward to seeing them in action this weekend.
“With a place in the final at stake, both teams will be eager to impose themselves on the game and fight tooth and nail for a place in the final.
“Jersey, as we saw last week, will be a tough test and we will need to be fully prepared for the challenge.”
The British & Irish Cup Semi-final against Jersey Reds kicks off at 2pm this Sunday 2 April followed by the last regular home league game against Rotherham Titans at 3pm on 8 April. Tickets are available from 0118 968 1016 or go to www.lidirect.co.uk to purchase online.
London Irish: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Ciaran Hearn, 12 Ross Neal, 11 Tom Parton, 10 Theo Brophy Clews, 9 Darren Allinson, 1 Harry Elrington, 2 Todd Gleave, 3 Ollie Hoskins, 4 Will Lloyd, 5 Jebb Sinclair, 6 Jerry Sexton, 7 Conor Gilsenan (c), 8 Senitiki Nayalo
Replacements: 16 Gerard Ellis, 17 Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, 18 Josh McNally, 19 Luke Narraway, 20 Brendan McKibbin, 21 Jacob Atkins, 22 Ben Ransom