The Wokingham Paper

Kennedy rings the changes for London Irish’s trip to Gloucester

Skivington Kennedy Robson
George Skivington says players should relish the hostile atmosphere at Gloucester (Pic by Dijana Capan)

Nick Kennedy has made 10 changes to his side for their Anglo-Welsh Cup trip to Gloucester tomorrow.

With eyes on next weekend’s Premiership clash with Bath, Kennedy has opted to give some youngsters a chance in the first time at Kingsholm.

Ben Loader is set to make his first London Irish start

Exiles are playing catch-up after losing the cup opener against Bath 26-22 last weekend and have handed the captain’s armband to centre Fergus Mulchrone.

But the team includes a lot of academy prospects, including Ben Loader, brother of Reading FC star and Under-17 World Cup winner Danny Loader.

Josh Basham, Rory Brand and Jack Cooke also start, alongside last week’s two try man Max Northcote-Green.

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“The hostile places are in my experience the fun places to go,” said forwards coach George Skivington ahead of the trip to Gloucester.

“You’ve got to be on your mettle. They do act like a 16th man so you can forget getting any decisions on your side from the officials!

“They’re the sort of things that are the part and parcel of rugby.

“If you’re the sort of player that likes confrontation and enjoys that then you’ll thrive on it.

“They’ll be a few guys who get an opportunity next week no doubt, who have never been into that sort of environment and as we say it’s a great opportunity to throw a couple of guys in and say, go on this is the reality, this is the physicality, these the crowds you have to deal with, good luck, let’s see what you’re like.”

LONDON IRISH XV: Tonks, Ransom, Mulchrone (c), McLean, Loader, Brophy Clews, Brand, Smallbone, Woolstencroft, Hoskins, Lloyd, Cooke, Basham, Northcote-Green, Schatz.
Reps: Gleave, Elrington, Chawatama, Cowan, Donnell, Meehan, Atkins, M. Williams.

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