4th Mar, 2021

Kitchener returns for champions Chiefs challenge

Rob George 29th Jan, 2021

LOCK Graham Kitchener will make his first appearance of the season for Warriors against reigning Gallagher Premiership champions Exeter Chiefs at Sixways on Saturday (kick-off 3pm).

Kitchener returned to Sixways in the summer of 2019 after a stint with Leicester Tigers but suffered a stress fracture of a foot in the latter stages of last season.

The injury has now healed but Kitchener’s comeback has been delayed by the postponement of the European Rugby Challenge Cup matches against Ospreys and Pau.

He comes straight into the starting XV against Exeter and will form a new second row pairing with Justin Clegg.

There is one other change to the side that started at Sale Sharks three weeks ago with Billy Searle, who has recovered from a calf injury, returning at fly-half.

Scotland international fly-half Duncan Weir is set to make his 50th appearance for the club off the bench. Weir is just 11 point short of 450 since he joined Warriors from Edinburgh three years ago.

South Africa international centre Francois Venter returns to the squad having recovered from illness, which forced him to miss three matches. Venter is joined among the replacements by hooker Beck Cutting.

Warriors | 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Oli Morris, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Nick David, 10 Billy Searle, 9 Francois Hougaard, 1 Ethan Waller, 2 Niall Annett, 3 Nick Schonert, 4 Justin Clegg, 5 Graham Kitchener, 6 Ted Hill (C), 7 Matt Kvesic, 8 Marco Mama.

Replacements | 16 Beck Cutting, 17 Marc Thomas, 18 Richard Palframan, 19 Anton Bresler, 20 Sam Lewis, 21 Gareth Simpson, 22 Duncan Weir 23 Francois Venter.

Unavailable | Conor Carey, Matt Cox, Tom Dodd, Noah Heward, Lewis Holsey,  Andrew Kitchener, Matt Moulds, Melani Nanai, GJ van Velze. International duty | Ollie Lawrence.

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