BAHRAIN Rugby Football Club (RFC) will be without a couple of key players for tonight’s opening round of the West Asia Premiership away to old rivals Abu Dhabi Harlequins.
In total, Bahrain head coach Louie Tonkin has made four changes to his starting line-up for this evening’s clash at Zayed Sports City, with senior players Luke Radley and Rob Bennett ruled out with injury.
Up front, Sunia Fameitau joins Lindsey Gibson and Rich Muncaster in the front row in place of Jack Parry – who was also forced off early last weekend but is deemed fit to take his place on the bench, while Aled Morris starts alongside Tommy Booth in the second row, having impressed at blindside flank in the season’s opening win away to Kandy.
The absence of Bennett from the match day squad for the first time since head coach Tonkin took the reins in 2016 means Nick Annear continues at half-back alongside the impressive Ross Preedy, with the midfield duo of captain Adam Wallace and last week’s man-of-the-match Jack Phillips being the only unit to have started all three games so far.
Dai Evans and last week’s match-winning try-scorer Callum Roberts are retained on the wings with Deina Morete marking his first start of the season in place of Radley at full-back.
On the bench, Parry and Oli Sanson have both passed fitness tests while Max Sale will be looking to make a positive impact on what will be his final appearance for the club before moving back to Ireland.
Rhys Fitzgerald will be chomping at the bit to get stuck into some Harlequins, while Joel Lewis, Greg Heath and Bryan Barnard – in his first inclusion in the first XV squad for two years – will also be looking for some valuable game time.
Tonight’s match will once again be streamed live via Bahrain RFC’s Facebook page with full coverage on the big screen at the club from kick-off at 6pm Bahrain time.