WINGER Rhys Crane returns from injury and slots
straight into Nottingham Rugby's starting XV for Sunday's RFU
Championship clash with the Cornish Pirates at Meadow Lane (1.15pm
CRANE TRAIN: Winger
Rhys Crane in back on track and into the starting XV to face
Cornish Pirates on Sunday. PIC: Steve Galloway.
The 27-year-old fractured his leg in the win over Bedford on
January 27, and has shown remarkable signs of recovery since
rejoining teammates at the clubs' Lady Bay training base last
Crane's inclusion is one of 13 changes to the side that was
beaten in the British and Irish Cup quarter-final at Kingston Park
Prop Jonny Harris and No.8 Alex Shaw are the only two players
who retain their place in the side.
Hooker Joe Duffey makes his first start since Nottingham's
narrow loss to Newcastle last month and flanker Brent Wilson
assumes the captaincy once again, slotting in alongside Rupert
Cooper in the back-row.
Sean Romans and James Arlidge team up at half-back, while Dan
Montagu and Nic Rouse are reunited in the second row.
Centres Tim Streather and Joe Munro reclaim their places while
Alex Lewington starts on the right wing with Crane moving onto the
left ahead of David Jackson who moves to the replacements
Head coach Martin Haag, who has just penned a two-year contract
extension with the East Midlands club that keeps him at Meadow Lane
until the end of the 2014/15 season, said he would take advantage
of the fully-fit squad at his disposal in the lead up to the
Championship promotion play-offs.
"In these next two games we might see some changes, giving guys
a chance to stake a claim for a place in the play-off games," Haag
Streather said Crane's return has intensified rivalry for places
in the side.
"The freak that is Rhys Crane is back in the team, so it is good
to have guys like that coming back into contention at the right
time of season," Streather said.
"Competition for places is going to be fierce for the play-offs
with everyone in great shape"
Nottingham Rugby team to face Cornish Pirates at Meadow
Lane on Sunday, April 14 (1.15pm kick-off): 15 Andrew
Savage 14 Alex Lewington 13 Tim Streather 12 Joe Munro 11 Rhys
Crane 10 James Arlidge 9 Sean Romans; 1 Jonny Harris 2 Joe Duffey 3
Michael Holford 4 Dan Montagu 5 Nic Rouse 6 Rupert Cooper 7 Brent
Wilson (c) 8 Alex Shaw.
Replacements from: 16 Shaun Malton 17 Ryan
Bower 18 Tom Price 19 Tom Calladine 20 Finlay Barnham 21 Joe Cobden
22 David Jackson.