Piutau and Sinckler set for Bristol Bears return
Charles Piutau is set to play his first game for Bristol Bears since injuring himself last October, as Pat Lam’s side take on Newcastle Falcons. The All Black is one of seven changes to the side.
England prop Kyle Sinckler returned to camp early from mandated leave for a Covid test and then took part in the captains run to be listed among the replacements.
Earlier this week, Bears received their first positive result for a player since testing began in July. Despite all other players in the squad receiving negative results, the club followed Covid-19 competition protocols to isolate all front row players who featured in the Matchday squad versus Harlequins.
As a result, Peter McCabe, George Kloska and Jake Armstrong form a new look front row, with all three set for first Premiership starts.
Meanwhile, Ed Holmes, Ben Earl, Dan Thomas, Siale Piutau and Max Malins are all provided rest weeks. Andy Uren is recalled to the backline, while Joe Joyce and Jake Heenan are also named in the starting line-up.
The Bears are also boosted by the return of Luke Morahan to the replacements, while Academy scholar hooker Aaron Thompson and Integrated Academy prop Andrew Turner are also named in the 23-man squad and could make competitive debuts.
Bristol Bears team to face Newcastle Falcons:
15. Charles Piutau
14. Siva Naulago
13. Semi Radradra
12. Piers O’Conor
11. Ioan Lloyd
10. Callum Sheedy
9. Andy Uren
1. Peter McCabe
2. George Kloska
3. Jake Armstrong
4. Dave Attwood
5. Joe Joyce
6. Steven Luatua (c)
7. Jake Heenan
8. Nathan Hughes
REPLACEMENTS: 16. Aaron Thompson, 17. Andrew Turner, 18. Kyle Sinckler, 19. John Hawkins, 20. Fitz Harding, 21. Harry Randall, 22. Alapati Leiua, 23. Luke Morahan.
UNAVAILABLE: Bryan Byrne, Will Capon, Harry Thacker, Jake Woolmore, Yann Thomas, John Afoa, Max Lahiff, Chris Vui, Ed Holmes, Ben Earl, Dan Thomas, Chris Cook, Sam Bedlow, Siale Piutau, Henry Purdy, Max Malins.
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Well done in putting Eddie's stats into perspective Nick. I'd like to see the try/phase stats after discounting tries from rolling mauls and intercepts. Reminds me of the story Rocky Elsom once told about how the Edster figured out that scrums only take up an average of 8 minutes a game. Apparently our Messiah thus concluded that the team should only devote 8 minutes to the scrum at training!Go to comments
Yo Nicholas. The crowd at the Roar told me you'd quit and I'd find your column elsewhere. Great to see you're still on the job. I enjoyed this, and and no wonder I missed you. Over at the other place, on the day before you posted this, I commented on the game against the Reds: "Carter Gordon was another interesting player on the field, although his form wasn’t well showcased in the match, which isn’t to say he didn’t play well, only that he didn’t particularly star. I know virtually nothing about CG, and wonder if I’m seeing a tall thin 10 who holds the ball with both hands and likes to tackle, besides everything else … I dare not say who that reminds me of." I was scared of putting the mocker on him, but now you've said it! Are we seeing the ghost of Bernie? Early days, but he's certainly refreshing.Go to comments