RUGBY UNION: Welsh look to sign off pre-season on a high

Rhys Crane starts for London Welsh at Pontypridd today

Rhys Crane starts for London Welsh at Pontypridd today

First published in Rugby

London Welsh conclude preparations for the Aviva Premiership campaign when they play their final pre-season match at Pontypridd today (2.30).

Exiles head coach Justin Burnell makes eight changes for the trip to Sardis Road from the XV that lined up against Wasps last weekend at Adams Park, which the home side won 38-24.

In the backs, Nic Reynolds starts at outside centre, Rhys Crane on the left wing and Paul Rowley at scrum half.

In the forwards, Argentina prop Pablo Henn gets the nod in a new-look front row alongside Nathan Vella and Jack Gilding.

James Down partners Dean Schofield in the second row and Lachlan McCaffrey wears the No 7 jersey.

“It’s that final step before the big game against Exeter at the Kassam Stadium on September 7,” said Burnell.

“There were a lot of positives to come out of the Wasps game, but we were very disappointed with three tries that I believe went a begging.

“We know what to expect down in Ponty. We’re really looking forward to the challenge, and more importantly the opportunity to rectify the errors that we made against Wasps.

“You can see within our selection that our minds are not completely made up as to what the starting XV will be for Exeter.

“So it’s another opportunity to look at different combinations.”

New Zealand scrum half Piri Weepu has landed in the country, but has not been included in Welsh’s matchday squad.

TODAY’S TEAM

London Welsh: Jewell, Stegmann, Reynolds, Molenaar, Crane, Barkley, Rowley, Henn, Vella, Gilding, Schofield, Down, P Browne, McCaffrey, Stedman. Reps: Morris, Cahill, Vea, Corker, McNally, D Browne, Pienaar, Thorpe, R Lewis, Roberts, May, J Lewis, Elder, Scott.

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