28 September 2017
London Irish have made two changes to the starting XV for tomorrow’s Aviva Premiership fixture against Newcastle Falcons at Kingston Park (kick-off 7.45pm, live on BT Sport).
Ofisa Treviranus returns to the back row, while former England international David Paice replaces Dave Porecki at hooker.
Club stalwart Paice, who is now into his 15th campaign with the Exiles, skippers the side and packs down alongside double World Cup-winning All Black Ben Franks and European Rugby Champions Cup-winner Petrus Du Plessis.
South African’s Franco van der Merwe and Sebastian De Chaves retain their places in the second row, while Josh McNally and Blair Cowan start at blindside and openside flanker respectively.
In the backline, Alex Lewington will be hoping to build on his impressive start to the season which has yielded two tries including last week’s exquisite solo effort against Northampton Saints.
Johnny Williams, who made his long-awaited return from injury last weekend, partners Fijian international Aseli Tikoirotuma at centre, with Napolioni Nalaga getting the nod on the wing.
New Zealander James Marshall continues at fly-half, while full-back and goal-kicking specialist Tommy Bell will be looking to surpass his season tally of 50 points tomorrow night.
Exiles’ boss Nick Kennedy said: “We’ve addressed a few things from last week’s game and we’re looking forward to the trip to Newcastle.
“Dean Richards has done a great job up there and has transformed them into a team that is challenging in the upper reaches of the table.
“They are playing some excellent rugby and we will need to be at our very best from the word go.”
Treviranus, a try scorer during the Exiles’ opening day victory over Harlequins, makes a welcome return to the pack with Kennedy pleased to see him back in the mix.
“Ofisa has a wealth of experience which will be invaluable for us at Kingston Park,” said Kennedy.
“He’s a strong ball carrier that has the ability to regularly get us over the gain line and it’s great to see his name on the team sheet.”
London Irish: 15 Tommy Bell, 14 Alex Lewington, 13 Aseli Tikoirotuma, 12 Johnny Williams, 11 Napolioni Nalaga, 10 James Marshall, 9 Scott Steele, 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 Ofisa Treviranus
Replacements: 16 Saia Fainga’a, 17 Harry Elrington, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Teofilo Paulo, 20 Conor Gilsenan, 21 Ben Meehan, 22 Greig Tonks, 23 Tom Fowlie
London Irish’s next home game is against Leicester Tigers on Saturday 7 October. Adult tickets from £23 and U13s from £3 from www.lidirect.co.uk or call 0118 968 1016.