London Scottish have made seven changes to the starting XV for their final Pool 6 British and Irish Cup match against Gala at the Richmond Athletic Ground this Saturday (KO 2pm).
With the defeat to Moseley last Friday night meaning that Scottish can no longer progress from the group, Director of Rugby Simon Amor has decided to bring new faces into the side, whilst still selecting a strong starting XV.
Gerard Mullen returns to the wing, allowing Oli Grove to return to his customary outside centre position, where he will partner PJ Gidlow. There’s also a change to the half back pairing as Dan Mugford is given the nod, with Phil Godman moving to the replacements bench.
Scottish have opted for a completely new front row from the Moseley game with Mark Irish, Harry Allen and Alex Mackenzie replacing Nic Mayhew, Adam Kwasnicki and Colin Quigley. And Ben Russell and Lewis Calder are named at blindside and openside flanker respectively, joining Mark Bright in the back row.
New recruit Eric Fry is in line to make his first appearance in a London Scottish shirt as he is named on a bench that also includes hooker Craig McGrath, prop Nic Mayhew and lock Alex Karonias. Richard Bolt and Andy Reay join Godman as the three replacements backs as Scottish opt for a four-three split in forwards and backs.
Simon Amor: “This is an opportunity for us to regain some winning momentum that we can take with us into the Championship fixtures to come. Gala are an exceptionally talented side. They are strong up front with a very powerful scrum and have some excellent backs and will present us with a very difficult test.”
London Scottish side to face Gala at the Richmond Athletic Ground on Saturday 19th January (KO 2pm):
15 Jim Thompson; 14 James Love, 13 Oli Grove, 12 PJ Gidlow, 11 Gerard Mullen; 10 Dan Mugford, 9 Jamie Stevenson; 1 Mark Irish, 2 Harry Allen, 3 Alex Mackenzie; 4 Paul Spivey, 5 Tyler Hotson; 6 Ben Russell, 7 Lewis Calder, 8 Mark Bright (c).
16 Nic Mayhew, 17 Craig McGrath, 18 Eric Fry, 19 Alex Karonias, 20 Richard Bolt, 21 Phil Godman, 22 Andy Reay