RUGBY UNION: Keats starts as Welsh change nine

Tyson Keats

Tyson Keats

First published in Rugby

GREENE KING IPA CHAMPIONSHIP

TYSON Keats makes the first appearance of his second spell at London Welsh when they face Jersey at the Kassam Stadium today (2).

Keats, whose botched registration saw Welsh docked five points in the Premiership last season, starts at scrum half.

He is one of nine changes to a Welsh side in which centre Hudson Tonga’uiha returns after 16 months out injured.

Toby L’Estrange is named at full back, fresh from helping the USA qualify for the 2015 World Cup, while Joe Ajuwa comes in on the wing.

Alec Hepburn, Nathan Morris and Paddy Ryan make up a new-look front row.

Bath loanee Will Spencer makes his debut at lock, while John Quill starts at openside flanker as Welsh look to extend a six-game winning run.

“I don’t think anyone wants to lose a game the way we’re going,” said head coach Justin Burnell.

“For us, it’s not a case of where we finish in the league it’s a case of maintaining our momentum and winning games.”

Joe Buckle switches to blindside flanker for Jersey, Ryan Hodson coming in at openside.

Mark McCrea moves to inside centre, while Ed Dawson is recalled on the wing.

Joel Dudley has been handed the No 9 shirt and Aaron Penberthy returns at fly half.

TODAY’S TEAMS

London Welsh: L’Estrange, Ajuwa, Tonga’uiha, May (capt), Scott, Davies, Keats, Hepburn, Morris, Ryan, Corker, Spencer, Lees, Quill, D Browne. Reps: Davis, Trevett, Griffiths, Pienaar, Thorpe, J Lewis, O’Neill.

Jersey: Burroughs, Pointer, Locke, McCrea, Dawson, Penberthy, Dudley, Lockwood, Taione, Selway, Campbell, Rae (capt), Buckle, Hodson, Maidment. Reps: Stratford, Fidler, McCarthy, Markham, Brown, Griffiths, Bishop.

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