Aviva Premiership action takes centre stage this weekend, with London Irish welcoming Bath Rugby to the Madejski Stadium on Sunday (kick-off 3pm).
The Exiles, boosted by the news of four re-signings in the build-up to the game, make three changes to the side that locked horns with Saracens in the Aviva Premiership last month.
In form flanker Max Northcote-Green gets the nod against his former club, the 23-year-old talent having bagged a brace of tries against Bath in the Anglo-Welsh Cup a fortnight ago. Northcote-Green partners Conor Gilsenan in the back row, with Blair Cowan switching to No 8 in place of Ofisa Treviranus who is currently on international duty with Samoa.
Luke McLean starts at inside centre alongside Fergus Mulchrone, while Tommy Bell and James Marshall swap positions to fly-half and full-back respectively.
“We’ve had a very good training week and we’re really looking forward to this weekend’s game,” said Exiles’ director of rugby Nick Kennedy.
“We have back-to-back home games for the next two Sundays and our supporters can play a crucial role in being our 16th man. It’s important that we pick up points on home soil and we’ll be doing everything we can to get a positive result on Sunday.”
Sebastian De Chaves, Ollie Hoskins, Dave Porecki and Harry Elrington all penned new deals in the run-up to the game, and Kennedy is delighted with the quartet’s commitment.
“It’s really pleasing for the management team, the club and the supporters that they have signed contract extensions at London Irish,” said Kennedy.
“They are young, English qualified players who are getting better and better and we are delighted that they see their futures here.”
London Irish: 15 James Marshall, 14 Joe Cokanasiga, 13 Fergus Mulchrone, 12 Luke McLean, 11 Alex Lewington, 10 Tommy Bell, 9 Ben Meehan, 1 Ben Franks, 2 David Paice (c), 3 Petrus Du Plessis, 4 Franco van der Merwe, 5 Teofilo Paulo, 6 Max Northcote-Green, 7 Conor Gilsenan, 8 Blair Cowan
Replacements: 16 Dave Porecki, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Sebastian De Chaves, 20 Mike Coman, 21 Scott Steele, 22 Greig Tonks, 23 Tom Fowlie
In support of London Irish first team player, Darren Dawidiuk, who’s receiving treatment for testicular cancer, the club will be making a donation of £4 per adult ticket and £2 per 65 and over ticket bought for the Bath game at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday 19 November from 7 November onwards to the Movember Foundation.
Tickets start from £23 for adults and £3 for under 13s. Tickets are available from www.lidirect.co.uk or by calling 0118 968 1016 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm, Saturday 9am to noon).