London Irish have made 10 changes for tomorrow’s Anglo-Welsh Cup game away to Gloucester Rugby at Kingsholm (kick-off 12.30pm).
Fergus Mulchrone retains his starting spot donning the captain’s armband and is joined in the centre again by Luke McLean.
The Exiles half back combination sees Rory Brand starting at scrum-half partnered by fly-half Theo Brophy Clews. Greig Tonks returns to action at full-back with Ben Ransom and Ben Loader on the wing.
Max Northcote-Green, who bagged a brace of tries at the Madejski last Saturday, retains his spot but moves to 7 as does No 8 Jake Schatz while Josh Basham joins them in the back row to make his debut in this season’s competition. Tom Smallbone, Tom Woolstencroft and Ollie Hoskins pack down in the front row while Will Lloyd and Jack Cooke start in the second row.
London Irish and Gloucester Rugby players will be rallying behind Darren Dawidiuk who is receiving treatment for testicular cancer by warming up in Oddballs bobble hats and T-shirts with the message Dukey 2 on them to raise awareness of testicular cancer at the game to get men checking more regularly to be diagnosed sooner, the key to beating any cancer.
“This game is an important opportunity for a number of the guys to stake a claim for a place in the team as we rotate to keep the squad fresh leading into the midway point of the season,” said London Irish director of rugby Nick Kennedy.
“There’s always an intense atmosphere at Kingsholm and as hosts of the Anglo-Welsh Cup Final next March, Gloucester will be looking to progress to the next stage of the competition.
“It will be great to see both teams getting behind Darren Dawidiuk and raising awareness of testicular cancer by warming up in Dukey 2 Oddballs T-shirts before the game.
“Everyone at London Irish is right behind Darren. His health and wellbeing is the number one priority and we are with him every step of the way towards a full recovery.”
London Irish will also be wearing Oddballs hats and T-shirts when they warm up ahead of their next home game on Sunday 19 November when Bath Rugby are the visitors to the Madejski Stadium. The club will be making a donation of £4 per adult ticket and £2 per 65 and over ticket bought for the game from Tuesday 7 November onwards to the Movember Foundation which supports research into some of the biggest health issues faced by men including testicular cancer. To make a donation by buying tickets to the game, visit www.london-irish.com/tickets or call 0118 968 1016 (Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturday 9am to noon.)
London Irish: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Ben Ransom, 13 Fergus Mulchrone (c), 12 Luke McLean, 11 Ben Loader, 10 Theo Brophy Clews, 9 Rory Brand, 1 Tom Smallbone, 2 Tom Woolstencroft, 3 Ollie Hoskins, 4 Will Lloyd, 5 Jack Cooke, 6 Josh Basham, 7 Max Northcote-Green, 8 Jake Schatz
Replacements: 16 Todd Gleave, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Lovejoy Chawatama, 19 Blair Cowan, 20 Ben Donnell, 21 Ben Meehan, 22 Jacob Atkins, 23 Matt Williams