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TEAM NEWS: Calladine named captain as Haag makes seven changes

FLANKER Tom Calladine will captain Nottingham for the first time in the league at Leeds on Saturday (3pm kick-off).


CAPTAIN CALLA: Flanker Tom Calladine will skipper his first Championship game against Leeds. Pic: Alison Bowden

The 23-year-old retains his place in the back-row with Brent Wilson given another week off to recover from the back complaint that ruled him out against the Cornish Pirates.

This week, however, Calladine assumes all of Wilson's duties by stepping up as skipper as well.

Backs coach Ben Johnston said Calladine's performance against the Pirates, which saw him go over for the try that helped guarantee second place in the league, combined with his impressive showing as stand-in captain against Newcastle in the British and Irish Cup quarter-final, made him the ideal choice to lead the side in the final regular season fixture.

"He did a fantastic job the last time he captained the side, showing great leadership qualities, and we will be looking for a repeat performance against Leeds," Johnston said.

Calladine said he is relishing the opportunity on the eve of the club's historic first play-off semi-final campaign.

"It is that little bit sweeter to be captaining the side in a Championship game now," Calladine said.

"It was good to get called in last minute when Brent was ruled out injured against Pirates, and now to be trusted with the captaincy shows that (head coach) Martin Haag believes that I have what it takes to lead the side."

Martin Haag makes seven changes to the side that beat Pirates for the trip to Headingley Stadium to meet their play-off rivals.

Former Leicester Tigers Academy scrum-half Harrison Lee-Everton, and dual-registered London Irish back-row forward Alex Gray will make their debuts.

Lee-Everton teams up with fly-half Rory Lynn who comes in for league-leading points scorer James Arlidge, while Gray comes in for the injured Alex Shaw.

In the pack, Jonny Harris continues in the front row while Ryan Bower comes in at tighthead prop ahead of Michael Holford who moves to the bench. Lock Joe Quinn slots in alongside Dan Montagu in the second row.

Joe Cobden comes in at outside-centre and David Jackson returns to full-back.

Nottingham Rugby team to face Leeds Carnegie at Headingley Stadium on Saturday, April 20 (3pm kick-off): 15 David Jackson 14 Alex Lewington 13 Joe Cobden 12 Joe Munro 11 Rhys Crane 10 Rory Lynn 9 Harrison Lee-Everton; 1 Jonny Harris 2 Joe Duffey 3 Ryan Bower 4 Dan Montagu 5 Joe Quinn 6 Rupert Cooper 7 Tom Calladine 8 Alex Gray.

Replacements: 16 Shaun Malton 17 Michael Holford 18 Tom Price 19 Phil Eggleshaw 20 Sean Romans 21 James Arlidge 22 Andy Forsyth.


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