McConnell starts Nottingham Rugby’s Jersey home clash

Murray McConnell
Murray McConnell

Scrum half Murray McConnell is one of four players who return to Nottingham Rugby’s starting line-up, for their first Greene King IPA Championship action of 2017, as they host Jersey Reds at The Bay on Sunday afternoon (3pm kick-off).

Head Coach Ian Costello has included the Scot, who will see his first action of the year, after missing out on the Green and Whites’ previous two British & Irish Cup fixtures, including last weekend’s defeat against Scarlets in Llanelli, which ended Nottingham’s quarter-final hopes.

Elsewhere in the starting XV, prop Kieran Davies replaces Tom West, whilst wingers Calum Hall and David Williams come in for Sam Yawayawa and Joe Cobden respectively.

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On the bench, hooker Jimmy Stevens is chosen ahead of Ben Brownlie, whilst fly half Gearoid Lyons is set for a welcome return, after being absent through injury since Nottingham’s opening game of the season against London Scottish.

With both sides currently level on points in the league standings, and just 4 points off a play-off spot, the game promises to be a hotly contested affair.

In September’s league meeting between the two sides, the Green and Whites secured last-gasp win at St. Peter, with a nail-biting, 22-21 scoreline. Tries from Billy Robinson, Jimmy Stevens and Tom Heard kept Ian Costello’s men in the hunt for victory, which was sealed via the last kick of the game, courtesy of a Lawrence Rayner conversion.

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Team to face Jersey Reds:
15) James Stephenson
14) David Williams
13) Oli Evans
12) Vili Hakalo
11) Calum Hall
10) Lawrence Rayner
9) Murray McConnell
1) Kieran Davies
2) TJ Harris
3) Ben Hooper
4) Toby Freeman
5) Morgan Eames
6) Ben Morris
7) Matt Everard (C)
8) Shane Buckley

Replacements:
16) Jimmy Stevens
17) Harry Morley
18) David Peck
19) Rob Langley
20) Josh Poullet
21) Darryl Veenendaal
22) Gearoid Lyons

Advanced seated and discounted standing tickets are still available to purchase via the club’s online ticketing website until midnight on Saturday 28th January