RUGBY UNION: Burnell brings in 12 for Ponty tie

Ollie Stedman (second right), pictured celebrating his try against Bristol at the Kassam Stadium in November, retains his place to face Pontypridd, which Rob Lewis (right) will captain

Ollie Stedman (second right), pictured celebrating his try against Bristol at the Kassam Stadium in November, retains his place to face Pontypridd, which Rob Lewis (right) will captain

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

London Welsh head coach Justin Burnell has made 12 changes for tomorrow’s crunch British & Irish Cup clash with Pontypridd at the Kassam Stadium (3).

Only wing Joe Ajuwa, flanker Mike Denbee and No 8 Ollie Stedman survive from the side that beat Jersey last week.

Scrum half Rob Lewis captains a team, which includes his twin brother James and ex-Pontypridd man Sonny Parker in the centres.

“We were absolutely devastated to lose at home last time out to London Scottish, so Sunday is about getting back to the Kassam and putting in a performance for our supporters,” said Burnell.

Welsh lost 29-22 at Ponty at Sardis Road in October, but two big wins over Edinburgh Academical mean they can still top Pool 2 and qualify.

Bonus-point wins tomorrow and at Scottish next week should be enough for them to finish first.

Ponty include Cardiff Blues centre Tom Pascoe, lock Miles Normandale and flanker Thomas Young.

But wing Chris Clayton, centre Adam Thomas plus back-row forwards Luke Crocker, Owen Sheppeard and Dan Godfrey failed fitness tests.

TOMORROW’S TEAMS

London Welsh: Scott, Ajuwa, J Lewis, Parker, Tincknell, Robinson, R Lewis (capt), Moss, Davis, Edwards, West, Nimmo, Thorpe, Denbee, Stedman. Reps: Morris, Hepburn, Griffiths, Carrick-Smith, Kirwan, Frost, Jewell.

Pontypridd: Walsh, O Jenkins, Smith, Pascoe, Nuthall, Humberstone (capt), T Williams, Phillips, Belcher, Palmer, Locke, Normandale, Shellard, Young, Sieniawski. Reps: L Williams, Flanagan, Summerhill, Hetherington, O’Connor, Howe, K Jenkins.

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