After a tough defeat to Jersey last week, Nottingham Rugby face the challenge of league leaders London Irish this Friday night at The Bay, kick off 7:45pm.

Injuries decimated Neil Fowkes’ options at second row at the Stade Santander, with Llewelyn Jones and Sam Lewis forced to leave the field while club captain Tom Holmes, Danny Qualter and Seb Cecil are on the road to recovery.

Despite injury troubles, Nottingham welcome back hooker Ben Brownlie to the starting line-up and Sam Lewis, who was substituted half an hour after replacing Llewelyn Jones last weekend, also starts. Dual registered second row Devante Onojaife will join Lewis in the Green and Whites’ pack.

In the backs, Tom Varndell, the Premiership’s leading try scorer of all time, makes his Green and Whites home debut after starting in Jersey last weekend.

Jack Spittle, who suffered a hamstring injury in Jersey, is replaced by David Williams on the wing while captain Darryl Veenedaal starts at scrum half.

Speaking ahead of the match, head coach Neil Fowkes said: “Obviously we were really disappointed with the result against Jersey, we didn’t take our chances and discipline issues crept back into our performance, much like Coventry.

“We have all worked hard this week on these elements of our game and the boys want to show a reaction this week at The Bay against the league leaders Irish. We know we will have to be at our best against a quality Irish side that have dominated the completion so far.”

Full side to face Irish:

15. Sean Scanlon
14. David Williams
13. Will Millett
12. Luke Peters
11. Tom Varndell
10. Shane O’Leary
9. Darryl Veenendaal (C)
1. Owen Hills (dual registered)
2. Ben Brownlie
3. Mike Daniels
4. Devante Onojaife
5. Sam Lewis
6. Shane Buckley
7. Will Owen
8. Jordan Coghlan


16. Jake Farnworth
17. Jamie Jack
18. Billy Walker (dual registered)
19. George Cox
20. Josh Poullet
21. Murray McConnell
22. Gearoid Lyons

Advance tickets for the match have seen unprecedented demand, avoid queuing at the ticket office by purchasing tickets via the club’s ticketing website here.