29th Sep, 2020

Nanai returns ahead of Bears battle

Rob George 3rd Sep, 2020

WARRIORS welcome back full-back Melani Nanai for Friday’s Gallagher Premiership match against Bristol Bears at Sixways (kick-off 6pm).

Nanai was suspended for three matches after he was sent off for his challenge on Gloucester’s Jonny May three weeks ago.

The suspension included the victory over Harlequins in Warriors’ last home match eight days ago and, having served it, he comes straight back into the starting XV against Bristol.

Nanai, who displaces Chris Pennell, is the only change to the side that defeated Harlequins as Warriors seek to make it back-to-back home league wins.

Having fielded a young and inexperienced side at Exeter on Sunday there is a more familiar look to the side that will take on Bristol with experienced back-row forward Matt Cox named among the replacements.

Cox made his 100th appearance for Warriors as a replacement against Exeter and impressed in his first Premiership outing of the season.

Cox has retained his place in the matchday 23 but Warriors are missing two back-row forwards in GJ van Velze, who will miss the rest of the season having dislocated a shoulder at Exeter, and Sam Lewis, who has been ruled out with a head injury also sustained at Exeter.

Hooker Isaac Miller has also retained his place on the bench having produced an industrious cameo after he came on as a second half replacement at Exeter.

Wales international centre Ashley Beck is also among the replacements having started at Exeter.

England flanker Ted Hill resumes as captain in the continued absence of Team Captain Matt Moulds who underwent foot surgery over the summer, an injury that will keep him out for the rest of this season.

Wing Perry Humphreys again misses out having suffered an ankle injury in an inter-squad match four weeks ago.

Warriors | 15 Melani Nanai, 14 Tom Howe, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Noah Heward, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Francois Hougaard, 1 Ethan Waller, 2 Niall Annett, 3 Nick Schonert, 4 Anton Bresler, 5 Graham Kitchener, 6 Ted Hill (C), 7 Matt Kvesic, 8 Cornell du Preez.

Replacements | 16 Isaac Miller, 17 Callum Black, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Andrew Kitchener, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Gareth Simpson, 22 Billy Searle, 23 Ashley Beck.

Unavailable | Joe Batley, Conor Carey, Tom Dodd, Perry Humphreys, Sam Lewis, Marco Mama, Morgan Monks, Matt  Moulds, Jamie Shillcock, GJ van Velze.

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