Richmond Put Faith in Youthful Side for Cup Opener

Richmond begin their British & Irish Cup campaign with a youthful looking side who travel to domestic rivals Ealing Trailfinders. Director of Rugby, Steve Hill, has handed out a number of debuts, including three in the starting XV, who will be looking to avenge the narrow league defeat to Trailfinders

The south west London outfit have blended experience and youth throughout. In the back row stalwart openside Tom Sergeant leads the team accompanied by fellow long standing campaigner Harry Edwards at No 8. Debutante Lorcan Dow joins them on the blindside.

Second rows Max Crawford and Adam Lee both earn their first starts of the season and Hill selects Championship regulars Will Goodrick-Clarke and Joe Tarrant either side of Jamie Townsend whose first appearance for Richmond was against Bristol at Ashton Gate.

Having won their last three matches, Hill has shown faith in the club’s strength in depth as he seeks to grow his list of first team options. Callum Grant starts at nine for his first appearance of the season, but 21st in all, with the exciting midfield combination of James Swan at fly half and Rhys Owen and Cameron Hudson in the centres. The trio impressed in last week’s win over Oxford University and will hope to utilise their bulk in what is set to be a physical encounter at Vallis Way.

Luke Outhwaite starts on the wing looking to have the same impact as his previous Cup appearance that saw him cross the whitewash against Leinster A in the opening minutes on his first ever appearance. Ben Rath and Ali Chisholm make up the back three.

Hill has named seven players set to make their first appearances of the season on the bench, including four who will earn their first cap if used. Richard Townsend and Gary Hamilton provide front row cover along with Harlequins’ Cameron Holenstein.

French scrum-half Lucien Maman could inject pace into the game if bought on, as he did in the win over Oxford University. American Football convert Harry Innis will hope to add ballast to the pack with Simon Edwards and Chris Reakes making up the replacements.

Despite three consecutive wins in the Championship, Hill hopes Saturday’s squad can test themselves against a strong Ealing outfit and provide him with selection headaches in future weeks.

“I am excited to see how the new and returning players can inject some energy into the game in our first B&I Cup match. Our players have a tremendous opportunity to show why they should be playing at his level and it is up to each of them to grasp this chance,” said Hill.

15 Ali Chisholm
14 Ben Rath
13 Cameron Hudson
12 Rhys Owen
11 Luke Outhwaite
10 James Swan
9 Callum Grant

1 Will Goodrick-Clarke
2 Jamie Townsend
3 Joe Tarrant
4 Adam Lee
5 Max Crawford
6 Lorcan Dow
7 Tom Sargeant ©
8 Harry Edwards

Replacements:
16 Richard Townsend
17 Gary Hamilton
18 Harry Innis
19 Lucien Maman
20 Chris Reakes
21 Simon Edwards
22 Cameron Holenstein