Welsh ring the changes for European debut

First published in Sport

Head coach Lyn Jones has made seven changes to his starting London Welsh line-up that lost to Saracen slast week as the Exiles prepare for their European bow tomorrow.

Welsh host French giants Stade Francais at the Kassam stadium in the Amlin Challenge Cup on the back of two narrow defeats at the hands of Saracens and Gloucester - although they did come away from both games with what could yet prove to be crucial losing bonus points.

After six rounds of gruelling Premiership action, London Welsh head coach Lyn Jones has rung the changes for Saturday’s Round 1 Pool 5 fixture, most notably in the backs, where there are four new faces from the line up that started against Saracens.

There’s a first appearance this season for Alex Davies, who racked up an impressive haul of 250 points in the Exiles’ Championship winning season. Davies missed the start of the season through injury.

Ashley Smith also makes his first appearance of the season on the right wing, with Ryan Davis partnering James Lewis in the centres. Nick Runciman replaces Tyson Keats at scrum half.

There are three further changes in the forwards, with Arthur Joly making his first start for London Welsh at tight head in place of Paulica Ion.

Joly and fellow front row forward Franck Montanella will both be packing down against their former club.

Russian international Kirill Kulemin, who turns 32 on Saturday, spent eight seasons in France with Castres and Agen and comes into the second row alongside Matt Corker.

Captain Jonathan Mills moves from the second row to blindside flanker in place of Daniel Browne.

London Welsh: 15. Alex Davies, 14. Ashley Smith, 13. James Lewis, 12. Ryan Davis, 11. Nick Scott, 10. Gavin Henson*, 9. Nick Runciman, 1. Frank Montanella*, 2. Dan George, 3. Arthur Joly, 4 Kirill Kulemin*, 5. Matt Corker, 6. Jonathan Mills ©, 7. Mike Denbee, 8. Ed Jackson.

Replacements: 16. Greg Bateman, 17. Tom Bristow, 18. Paulica Ion*, 19. Martin Purdy, 20. Ed Williamson, 21. Tyson Keats, 22. Simon Whatling, 23.Seb Jewell.
 

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