Trio to make first competitive starts

10th January 2014

USA Eagles scrum-half Robbie Shaw is set for his competitive debut this weekend as London Scottish make the trip north to face Edinburgh Academicals in round five of the British and Irish Cup.

Dual-registered Bath hooker Tom Dunn makes his first start having come off the bench against Bedford Blues on New Year's Day as does Wasps dual-registered back-row forward Matt Everard.

James Love returns from injury and starts at full-back and Alex Karonias gets the nod in the second-row as the London Scottish veteran closes in on 100 appearances for the club.

Victory for Scottish is vital if they harbour hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals of the B&I Cup for the first time and despite a comfortable 55-19 win over Accies back in October, coach James Buckland believes a stern challenge lies ahead on Saturday at Raeburn Place.

“It's never easy going up to Scotland and Edinburgh Accies will prove difficult opposition,” he said.

“They played some decent rugby against us in October and we have had a good look back at that game.

“We have been told that Accies have brought in a few boys from the Pro teams which will make it an even bigger challenge.”

He added: “I remember beating Gala comfortably at the Athletic Ground last year but losing to them in Scotland.

“That in itself is a warning sign.

“It's a three-horse-race between ourselves, London Welsh and Pontypridd for qualification and we want to give ourselves the best possible chance of progressing by winning against Edinburgh Accies.”

Scottish went down to a disappointing 21-13 defeat against Bedford Blues on January 1st which bore comparisons to the defeat at Cornish Pirates in early November.

Buckland's side responded positively to the Pirates defeat winning six of their next seven games and the former London Irish hooker wants a similar reaction over the next few weeks.

“We were disappointed with how things went against Bedford,” he admitted.

“We made too many errors and failed to back up the win over London Welsh.

“That pushed us down to fifth place and it's an incredibly tight race for the top four in the Championship.

“The same can be said for our British and Irish Cup pool which is why we need to get the win on Saturday.”

London Scottish team to play Edinburgh Accies at Raeburn Place on Saturday January 11, 2pm kick-off.

15. James Love, 14, Michael Doneghan, 13, Oli Grove, 12, PJ Gidlow, 11, Pete Homan, 10, Lee Millar, 9, Robbie Shaw, 1, Mark Irish, 2, Tom Dunn, 3, Tom Francis, 4, Paul Spivey. 5, Alex Karonias, 6 Chevvy Pennycook, 7, Matt Everard, 8, Mark Bright (c).

Replacements: 16, Jamie Kilbane,17, Adam Kwaznicki, 18, Lewis Thiede, 19, Tyler Hotson, 20, Jordi Pasqualin, 21, Dan Newton, 22, Miles Mantella.

– For a full preview of the Round Five action ,click here.

– London Scottish fans wanting to take in Edinburgh Rugby's clash with Perpignan at Murrayfield after the Accies match can click here for ticket information.

– The Clubhouse bar at Raeburn Place will be open from 11am with pies and soup on the food menu.

SubscrIbe for the latest news and offers direct to your inbox.