Justin Burnell changes his entire starting XV as London Welsh return to British & Irish Cup today when they welcome Edinburgh Academical to Old Deer Park (2pm).

It will be Welsh’s first outing at their London home since the second leg of the Championship final meeting with Bedford Blues in May 2012.

Oxford Mail: Exiles coach Justin Burnell

  • London Welsh coach Justin Burnell rings the changes against Edinburgh Academicals today

After six weeks of Greene King IPA Championship fixtures, head coach Burnell names an entirely different starting line-up from the one that faced Bedford last weekend.

There’s a debut for hooker Nathan Vella, who joined the club last week from Auckland, while Will Carrick-Smith, on loan from Exeter Chiefs, also makes his first appearance for the Exiles.

In the backs, James Tinckwell, who started the season at Cornish Pirates, is given an opportunity on the wing.

The bench is bolstered by Josh Watkins and Tom Chapman – both of whom are part of the academy set up at Worcester Warriors.

Saturday a must-win game for London Welsh and Edinburgh, with both sides having lost their opening two Pool 2 fixtures to London Scottish and Pontypridd.


London Welsh: Awcock, Tinckwell, Mama, J Lewis, Ajuwa, Robinson, Frost, Hepburn, Vella, Moss, West, Carrick-Smith, Pienaar (capt), Denbee, Stedman. Reps: Davis, Edwards, Nimmo, Thorpe, Cook, Watkins, Chapman.