Monye return boosts Harlequins
October 26, 2012
England winger Ugo Monye is back in the Harlequins XV © Getty Images
England winger Ugo Monye is back in the Harlequins line-up for their match with London Irish at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday.
Monye has been out injured but returns to the wing and will hope to impress the England coaches after he was named in the squad for the autumn internationals. And Monye's inclusion is one of three changes to the side that defeated Connacht last Saturday.
Tom Casson comes into the team in place of Jordan Turner-Hall but the centre, who had 120mls of blood drained from his knee prior to playing Connacht last weekend, is expected to be fit to take part in England's training squad next week. In the forwards Tom Guest takes his spot with Maurie Fa'asavalu dropping to the bench.
Their opponents London Irish have named Declan Danaher at blindside and the flanker will make his 250th appearance for the Premiership side on Sunday. He lines up in their back-row alongside Chris Hala'ufia and Jamie Gibson while Topsy Ojo starts in the back three alongside Sailosi Tagicakibau and Anthony Watson.
Exiles director of rugby Brian Smith paid tribute to Danaher saying: "Sunday will mark a great mile-stone for one of London Irish's finest warriors when Declan Danaher pulls on the London Irish jersey for the 250th time. It's an incredible feat of endurance and courage. It will be a tough afternoon for Dec and the boys; we can expect a thorough examination in all departments as Harlequins have a strong pack and some extremely dangerous backline players.
"Whilst we have a healthy respect for our opponents, we have faith in each other and the belief that we can beat any team in this league."
Also in action on Sunday are London Welsh and London Wasps when the pair meet at Adams Park. The away side have handed a debut to Tom Voyce while Sonny Parker and Gavin Henson come back into the side. For Wasps, they have made nine changes from the team that beat Mogliano last weekend with Joe Simpson partnering Nick Robinson at half-back. Tom Varndell, Christian Wade and Hugo Southwell form an exciting back three with Andrea Masi and Lee Thomas getting the nod in the centres. Marco Wentzel partners Joe Launchbury in the second-row with Ashley Johnson, James Haskell and Billy Vunipola the named back-row.
But before Sunday's action, all eyes will be on Chris Ashton when he returns to Franklin's Gardens with his new side Saracens to face Northampton on Saturday. England contingent Mako Vunipola, Owen Farrell, Brad Barritt and Alex Goode are all named in the Sarries starting team with Mouritz Botha on the bench. And for Northampton, they start Stephen Myler at fullback while GJ Van Velze comes back into the side alongside Phil Dowson and Tom Wood in the Saints' back-row. The Pisi brothers will take their spot in the backs while England duo Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes start in the pack.
Leicester Tigers also feature a good number of England players in the XV for their trip to Kingsholm on Saturday to face Gloucester. Manu Tuilagi, Anthony Allen, Toby Flood, Ben Youngs, Tom Youngs, Dan Cole, Geoff Parling and Thomas Waldrom all start while Geordan Murphy and Louis Deacon return from injury.
And Gloucester have received a boost with Freddie Burns back at fly-half. Other changes see Rob Cook taking the fullback reins while Nick Wood and Rupert Harden get the nod in the front-row.
Elsewhere on Saturday, the Exeter Chiefs will hope to bounce back from their hammering at the hands of Clermont Auvergne on Saturday when they face Bath at the Recreation Ground. And they will be buoyed by the return of Gonzalo Camacho who takes his spot in the starting XV with Wallabies international Dean Mumm forming a second-row partnership with skipper Tom Hayes. Horacio Agulla could make his debut for Bath after being named on the bench while Carl Fearns takes his place in the back-row alongside skipper for the day Francois Louw and Ben Skirving.
Horacio Agulla could make his debut for Bath on Saturday © Getty Images
But the weekend's action will kick off on Friday night when Worcester Warriors entertain the Sale Sharks at Sixways. And one notable name missing from the Warriors' XV is skipper Dean Schofield. The second-row drops to the bench with Craig Gillies taking his spot in the pack. Other changes in the forwards see Semisi Taulava recalled at No.8 with Sam Betty and Matt Kvesic joining him in the back-row. Scrum-half Paul Hodgson also gets the nod while Errie Claassens starts for the first time in the league this season.
And their opponents the Sale Sharks will be hoping to record their first win in the Premiership this season come Friday evening. They have made wholesale changes from the team that lost to Montpellier on Sunday but Danny Cipriani keeps the fly-half spot. Ross Harrison makes his first start for the side at loose-head with Tommy Taylor and Tony Buckley alongside him in the front-row. Scottish internationals Richie Gray and Fraser McKenzie line up in the second-row with Richie Vernon, skipper David Seymour and Andy Powell completing the forwards.
In the backs, Cillian Willis partners Cipriani at half-back while Mark Cueto and Tom Brady will look to cause havoc on the flanks. Johnny Leota and Sam Tuitupou get the nod in the centres with Nick Macleod handed the fullback reins.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"Gentlemen, if you want to see the World Cup going south yet again, you are going the right way about it," John Taylor looks at the state of European rugby
The Heineken Cup proved once again just why it is the best domestic rugby competition in the world at the weekend and Monday Maul picks out some of the key talking points
The latest Week in Pictures brings you a selection of the best snaps from around the rugby world with scantily clad ladies, O'Driscoll and snow all featuring