ENGLAND centre Ollie Lawrence will make his seasonal bow for Warriors in Saturday’s European Rugby Challenge Cup match against Ospreys at Sixways (kick-off 8pm).
Lawrence’s excellent club form at the end of last season secured him a place in Eddie Jones’ squad for the Autumn Internationals. Having made his England debut as a replacement against Italy in Rome, Lawrence started in the Autumn Nations Cup matches against Georgia and Ireland.
A minor hip injury forced him to miss the matches against Wales and France but, having regained fitness, Lawrence will renew his centre partnership with Francois Venter against Ospreys.
Alan Solomons has made nine changes to the side that played Pau last Saturday with scrum-half Gareth Simpson set for his first home start after he scored the second of Warriors’ two tries in France.
Hooker Isaac Miller will make his first start of the season having come off the bench in Pau and there will be a home debut for experienced loosehead prop Marc Thomas who joined from Harlequins last month.
Wing Perry Humphreys and tighthead prop Richard Palframan return from injury with Palframan replacing Conor Carey who sustained a hamstring injury in the first half in Pau.
Kieran Verden, who is on a short-term loan from Bath, will provide cover for Palframan as a replacement on a strong bench that includes former Wales and Ospreys centre Ashley Beck and South Africa international scrum-half Francois Hougaard.
Ted Hill will captain the side having been rested last week.
Warriors | 15 Melani Nanai, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Ollie Lawrence, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Nick David, 10 Jamie Shillcock, 9 Gareth Simpson, 1 Marc Thomas, 2 Isaac Miller, 3 Richard Palframan, 4 George Merrick, 5 Justin Clegg, 6 Ted Hill (C), 7 Sam Lewis, 8 Cornell du Preez.
Replacements | 16 Niall Annett, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Kieran Verden, 19 Andrew Kitchener, 20 Marco Mama, 21 Francois Hougaard, 22 Billy Searle, 23 Ashley Beck.
Unavailable due to injury | Conor Carey, Matt Cox, Tom Dodd, Noah Heward, Lewis Holsey, Tom Howe, Graham Kitchener, Matt Kvesic, Joe Morris, Matt Moulds, Nick Schonert, GJ van Velze.
The Ospreys match is being shown live from 7.45pm on S4C. English commentary is available. Watch S4C on Sky 134, Freesat 120 and Virgin TV 166, or online on the S4C Clic player or BBC iPlayer.