Quins drop Care for Welsh clash
September 6, 2012
Danny Care will have to be content with a spot on the bench © Getty Images
Harlequins have dropped Danny Care for their Aviva Premiership match with London Welsh at the Twickenham Stoop on Friday night.
The England scrum-half will have to be content with a spot on the bench for the Exiles' visit with Karl Dickson getting the nod at half-back. Dickson impressed as an impact sub in Harlequins' epic 42-40 win over Wasps at Twickenham last Saturday. Ugo Monye and Tom Guest also come in the side.
Monye replaces George Lowe on the wing - with Lowe shifting to outside centre in Matthew Hopper's spot - with Guest replacing Nick Easter.
London Welsh fell to a 38-13 defeat to the Leicester Tigers in their first match of the new season and coach Lyn Jones has responded by making five changes. Matt Corker comes in for Russian international Kirill Kulemin in the second-row and in the back-row Mike Denbee replaces Lee Beach with Ed Jackson starting at No.8. Dan Browne shifts to blindside. The only change in the backs is at scrum half, where Welsh give a first start to Tyson Keats, who joins the Exiles from Italian side Aironi Rugby.
And despite their opening loss, Jones is adamant that his side can build on that performance and improve over the coming games. "It's not nice when you go down 38-13 but that's the way it is. You've got to take it on the chin and come back bigger and better," Jones said. "That's the challenge for us for Friday. We need to recover, we need to plan and we need to improve certain areas of our game.
"Leicester had a lot of detail in their game, but they have been playing together for a huge amount of time. That was just lacking for us. We understand where we are, but that will come. It's about trusting the process, but it's going to take time."
On Saturday, Bath entertain Wasps at the Recreation Ground with the away side looking to bounce back from their opening match of the season. They were 27 points ahead against Harlequins only to end up losing the match thanks to a late Nick Evans penalty. Boss Dai Young admitted that it was a bitter pill to swallow and he is fully aware of the threats Bath pose. "Bath are a totally different challenge for us and it will be a real test of character," Young said. "They will test us physically and they will come straight at us and we have to make sure that we have to meet fire with fire."
England second row Tom Palmer will make his first Wasps start since returning to the club following a spell in France with Stade Francais. He takes over from Joe Launchbury in the second row, while Chris Bell comes in at centre to replace Italy international Andrea Masi who has failed to recover from a leg injury that he picked up in the loss to Harlequins.
"We have to earn the right to play rugby down there and that means getting stuck in from the off," Young said. "They will be confident at home so it's a huge test for us to go down there and get the result we want but we are all looking forward to it."
England and Lions international Lee Mears will make his 250th Bath appearance when he packs down at hooker between props Nathan Catt and David Wilson. Scotland international Simon Taylor joins him in the pack as he comes in to replace flanker Francois Louw, who is away on international duty with South Africa.
"To make 250 appearances for a club is a great achievement in professional rugby, and it's a testament both to Lee's ability and his attitude as a player that he has reached it, as well as appearing for his country and the Lions," Bath head coach Gary Gold said.
Saturday's second live match on ESPN will be at Sale's new Salford City Stadium base where they will host Saracens. The 2011 Premiership champions eased past London Irish in their opening game of the season while Sale fell to a heavy defeat down in Exeter against the Chiefs.
Nick Macleod got the nod for Sale in their season opener and he is looking forward to running out at their new stadium for the first time. "I'm really excited about playing at the Salford City Stadium. We had a taster in the pre-season friendly against Leinster," Macleod said. "It's a fantastic playing surface, a fantastic facility and everybody I've spoken to from a fan's point of view has said it's a great move forward. So it's an exciting place to play - there's a really good buzz about the place."
Saracens director of rugby Mark McCall has named the same team that beat London Irish, but England fly-half Owen Farrell has shaken off a minor knock to be named among the replacements after missing the opening day victory.
Saturday's other matches see Leicester hosting the Worcester Warriors and Gloucester travelling to the Madejski Stadium to play London Irish.
Leicester wing Scott Hamilton will make his 100th appearance for the Tigers after director of rugby Richard Cockerill made only one change to the team that beat London Welsh. Sam Harrison comes in to replace Micky Young at scrum-half, after Young was unable to recover from an ankle injury he picked up against the Exiles.
"Worcester were very much up for the battle against Bath last weekend and we expect another tough contest," Cockerill said. "We have to be accurate in what we are doing. Whenever we made mistakes against London Welsh it cost us and that is a warning."
Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies has rung the changes in the pack with four new faces brought in following their opening loss to Northampton Saints. Jim Hamilton and Will James form a new second-row pairing, while there are also call-ups for flanker Andy Hazell and prop Shaun Knight.
"It's really about focusing on us. We've looked at London Irish and their game last weekend and they won't be taking too much out of it," Davies said. "They're definitely going to bounce back and be stronger because they're at home. They'll be disappointed with last weekend and we can't read too much into it."
On Sunday, Northampton Saints - fresh from their triumph at Kingsholm last weekend - will face the Exeter Chiefs at Franklin's Gardens.
Saints' director of rugby Jim Mallinder has named the same team, which means Ryan Lamb gets the nod over Stephen Myler at fly-half and flanker Tom Woods continues his return from injury. While Northampton are in determined mood ahead of their first match of the season, Mallinder is well aware of the problems that Exeter's can cause.
"It's vital that we get off to a good start at home," Mallinder said. "Last weekend at Gloucester we got a good away win and now we have to build on that on Sunday afternoon. Exeter are a quality side, as they have shown for the last couple of seasons. The players work hard for each other and they played well in their win over Sale last Saturday. It's going to be a big game and a tough game, but it is one that we are looking forward to."
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