RUGBY UNION: Burnell challenges ahead of Bedford clash

8:00am Saturday 22nd March 2014

London Welsh head coach Justin Burnell says his injured players all face a real battle to get back into the team.

Speaking ahead of tomorrow’s home clash with Bedford Blues at the Kassam Stadium (2.30), Burnell cited the examples of forwards Mitch Lees and Richard Thorpe, who were regulars before suffering respective hamstring and shoulder injuries.

“The boys that are injured have got to realise they will have to work even harder to get their places in the back row back,” said Burnell, who makes seven changes for the Bedford clash.

Welsh go into the game having won their last four league games and having moved up to second in the Championship table thanks to a 20-5 win at Cornish Pirates last Sunday.

Seb Jewell is selected at full back, while team captain Tom May returns at outside centre having come off the bench against the Pirates.

Will Robinson and Rob Lewis are named at fly half and scrum half respectively.

In the forwards, Tom Bristow, Nathan Morris and James Tideswell, making his 50th league appearance, form a new-look front row.

TOMORROW’S TEAMS

London Welsh: Jewell, Stegmann, May (capt), Parker, Scott, Robinson, R Lewis, Bristow, Morris, Tideswell, West, P Browne, D Browne, Kirwan, Stedman. Reps: Davis, Hepburn, Ryan, Nimmo, Quill, Cook, Awcock.

Bedford Blues: Pritchard (capt), Tapley, Le Bourgeois, Atkinson, Hircock, Fenner, Veenendaal, Fearn, Clare, Gilardon-Paz, Tupai, Wells, Gillanders, Fox, Fenton-Wells. Reps: Harris, Auterac, Cooper, Howard, Barrell, Peck, Burke.

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