2nd Dec, 2020

Academy stars and new faces among number as Warriors tackle Saints

Rob George 12th Nov, 2020

WARRIORS will begin the final countdown to the delayed 2020/21 Gallagher Premiership season with a friendly at Franklin’s Gardens.

The Sixways side tackle Northampton Saints on Friday (November 13), eight days ahead of the clash with London Irish.

The match will be played in four 30-minute quarters to allow both sides to give valuable game time to all squad members ahead of the start of the new season the following weekend.

Warriors, who are in their second week of pre-season training, will take a squad of 44 players to Northampton.

Lockdown regulations mean the friendly will be played behind closed doors but supporters will be able to follow the match on the club’s Twitter feed from 2pm.

New signings George Merrick and Marc Thomas and four first year Three Pears Warriors Academy players in a 41-strong squad for Friday’s friendly.

Former Harlequins lock Merrick has joined Warriors from Clermont Auvergne and experienced loosehead prop Thomas from Harlequins for the forthcoming season.

Wing Harry Spencer, centre Seb Atkinson, fly-half Finn Smith and flanker Jack Forsythe, four of eight new recruits to the Academy, have also been included in the senior squad for the first time.

Spencer, Atkinson, Smith and Forsythe are all expected to appear in either the third or fourth quarters as Warriors and Northampton have agreed to play their less experienced players in the latter stages of the friendly.

Academy back-row forward Morgan Monks is set for his return to action having recovered from the injury that forced him to miss the latter part of last season.

But Warriors are missing eight players who sustained injuries after the 2019/20 season resumed in August plus Team Captain Matt Moulds and tighthead prop Conor Carey who are recovering from longer term injuries.

Club Captain Ted Hill and centre Ollie Lawrence are away with England and fly-half Duncan Weir and number eight Cornell du Preez with Scotland.

Warriors

Backs | Melani Nanai, Chris Pennell, Noah Heward, Jono Kitto, Michael Heaney, Harry Spencer, Oli Morris, Alex Hearle, Scott van Breda, Francois Venter, Seb Atkinson, Ed Fidow, Nick David, Billy Searle, Jamie Shillcock, Finn Smith, Francois Hougaard, Gareth Simpson.

Forwards | Ethan Waller, Marc Thomas, Callum Black, Kai Owen, Niall Annett, Beck Cutting, Isaac Miller, Nick Schonert, Richard Palframan, Joe Morris, Anton Bresler, George Merrick, James Scott, Andrew Kitchener, Joe Batley, Justin Clegg, Marco Mama, Matt Cox, Sam Lewis, Matti Williams, Jack Forsythe, Tom Dodd, Morgan Monks.

Unavailable | Ashley Beck, Will Butler, Conor Carey, Cornell du Preez, Ted Hill, Lewis Holsey, Tom Howe, Perry Humphreys, Ollie Lawrence, Graham Kitchener, Caleb Montgomery, Matt Moulds, GJ van Velze, Duncan Weir.

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