SMITH RETURNS FOR BRISTOL AS THEY LOOK FOR QUINS WIN


GEORGE SMITH returns to the starting line-up as Bristol Bears go in search of a first Gallagher Premiership win on the road against Harlequins on Saturday (2pm).

Head coach Pat Lam makes a total of six changes from the side that suffered defeat to Wasps in round 13.

Charles Piutau is named at full-back with Luke Daniels switching to the wing, while Callum Sheedy also earns a start.

In the pack, Ospreys loanee Sam Parry will make his competitive debut, while Jake Woolmore also comes into the front row. Joe Batley makes his first Premiership start in a Bristol jersey.

Lam said: “There are five points available on Saturday and that’s the target for us every week. Quins were superb against Worcester, so we understand the challenge and we’re excited about putting things right after last weekend.

“We’ve lost six locks to injury so it’s a real test of our depth in that area. It’s a great opportunity for Joe [Batley] and that’s what having a quality squad is all about.

“We haven’t got a victory away from home, but there have been some positive performances. We believe we can win and it’s about making sure everything comes together on the day. They’re a good side, third in the table and flying – these are the games you want to be involved in.”

Mat Protheroe is listed among the replacements following his man of the match display for Hartpury last weekend in the Greene King IPA Championship.

Bristol Bears: 15 Charles Piutau; 14 Luke Daniels, 13 Piers O’Conor, 12 Siale Piutau (co-capt), 11 Alapati Leiua; 10 Callum Sheedy, 9 Harry Randall; 1 Jake Woolmore, 2 Sam Parry, 3 John Afoa, 4 Joe Batley, 5 Chris Vui, 6 Steve Luatua, 7 George Smith, 8 Jordan Crane (co-capt).

Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Lewis Thiede, 19 Nick Haining, 20 Dan Thomas, 21 Andy Uren, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Mat Protheroe.

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