1st Oct, 2020

Century-maker Cox to start against Chiefs

Worcester Editorial 28th Aug, 2020 Updated: 28th Aug, 2020

WARRIORS back-row forward Matt Cox is set to join the 100 Club in Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership match against Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park (kick-off 3pm).

Cox has been named as a one of six forwards among the replacements and will bring up a century of appearances for Warriors, split by a stint at Gloucester, if he is used.

The 32-year-old has not played in the Premiership for almost 18 months and has made just three appearances – all in the European Challenge Cup – this season due to complications that followed a blood disorder.

He joined Warriors from Woodrush as a 15-year-old and made a try-scoring debut against Wasps in April 2008. Cox represented England at every age group from Under-18s to Under-20s as well as England Sevens.

Only 25 players have made 100 appearances for Warriors in the professional era with GJ van Velze – who will start at Exeter – the most recent of them against Wasps in January.

Warriors have named a completely different starting XV to the one that beat Harlequins comprehensively at Sixways on Wednesday which includes wing Alex Hearle who will make his Premiership debut.

Hearle, who recently graduated to the senior squad from the Three Pears Warriors Academy, began the season brightly but suffered a foot injury against Exeter in the Premiership Rugby Cup in October and has not played since.

Scrum-half Michael Heaney will make his first appearance since the season resumed following the Coronavirus lockdown with Will Butler, the Assistant Club Captain again leading the side.

Back row forward Tom Dodd starts having recovered from the head injury he sustained at Wasps last week.

The front row of Callum Black, Beck Cutting and Richard Palframan, lock Andrew Kitchener, flanker Sam Lewis, fly-half Billy Searle and centre Ashley Beck all came off the bench against Harlequins.

Warriors | 15 Scott van Breda, 14 Nick David, 13 Ashley Beck, 12 Will Butler (C), 11 Alex Hearle, 10 Billy Searle, 9 Michael Heaney, 1 Callum Black, 2 Beck Cutting, 3 Richard Palframan, 4 James Scott, 5 Andrew Kitchener, 6 Tom Dodd, 7 Sam Lewis, 8 GJ van Velze.

Replacements | 16 Isaac Miller, 17 Lewis Holsey, 18 Joe Morris, 19 Justin Clegg, 20 Caleb Montgomery, 21 Matt Cox, 22 Jono Kitto, 23 Oli Morris.

Unavailable | Joe Batley, Conor Carey, Ed Fidow, Perry Humphreys, Marco Mama, Morgan Monks, Matt Moulds, Melani Nanai, Kai Owen, Jamie Shillcock.

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