6 October 2017
Ben Meehan and Jake Schatz will make their full Aviva Premiership bows when London Irish welcome Leicester Tigers to the Madejski Stadium tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).
Former Queensland Red Meehan, 24, replaces Scott Steele at scrum-half, while fellow Aussie Schatz, 27, gets the nod at No. 8.
Greig Tonks makes his first start of the season at inside centre and Topsy Ojo makes his return to the wing, the club record try-scorer replacing Napolioni Nalaga who sustained a broken arm against Falcons last weekend.
Looking forward to the visit of a Tigers outfit that has recorded three successive victories, Exiles’ director of rugby Nick Kennedy said: “We’ve had more preparation time this week following the Newcastle trip and the guys are really looking forward to tomorrow’s game.
“Ben Meehan and Jake Schatz have worked hard in training and deserve their chance to show what they can do on the Aviva Premiership stage.
“Leicester are a quality side, who are on a good run of form, so we will need to be fully focused on the game right from the word go.
“They have threats across the park, but we are also equipped with quality players with international experience so it promises to be an entertaining spectacle at the Madejski Stadium.”
London Irish: 15 Tommy Bell, 14 Alex Lewington, 13 Aseli Tikoirotuma, 12 Greig Tonks, 11 Topsy Ojo, 10 James Marshall, 9 Ben Meehan, 1 Ben Franks, 2 David Paice (c), 3 Petrus Du Plessis, 4 Franco van der Merwe, 5 Sebastian de Chaves, 6 Josh McNally, 7 Blair Cowan, 8 Jake Schatz
Replacements: 16 Todd Gleave, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Teofilo Paulo, 20 Lasha Lomidze, 21 Scott Steele, 22 Theo Brophy Clews, 23 Tom Fowlie
Tickets for the Leicester Tigers game can be purchased from £23 for adults and £3 for under 13s from www.lidirect.co.uk or by calling 0118 968 1016.