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Nick Kennedy names first London Irish side with four in line for debuts

Nick Kennedy head shot
Nick Kennedy is preparing for his first game as London Irish boss

NICK KENNEDY will hand debuts to four players in London Irish’s season opener against Doncaster Knights tomorrow.

Danny Hobbs-Awoyemi, George Robson, Sebastien De Chaves and Tommy Bell will all start for the Exiles at Madejski Stadium (3pm) in their first game since relegation from the Aviva Premiership.

Hobbs-Awoyemi, who joins from Northampton Saints, lines up in the front row alongside David Paice and World Cup winning New Zealander Ben Franks.

Robson, who was a regular feature in the Harlequins side for the past nine years, partners fellow new signing De Chaves in the second row.

De Chaves’ former Leicester Tigers team-mate Bell starts at fly half with Greig Tonks operating from full-back.

New captain Luke Narraway is on the back row alongside international stars Blair Cowan and Ofisa Treviranus.

Academy product Ross Neal starts on one with with Aseli Tikoirotuma taking his spot on the other while home-grown talents Tom Fowlie and Johnny Williams start after impressing last season.

Brendan McKibbin makes up the line-up at scrum half.

Ollie Hoskins and Ben Ransom could make their debuts from the bench.

“We are under no illusions what to expect from Doncaster and as with every game in the Championship, we will need to be fully prepared both mentally and physically.

“The Championship is unquestionably going to be fiercely competitive and we are relishing the challenge.”

LONDON IRISH: Tonks, Neal, Fowlie, Williams, Tikoirotuma, Bell, McKibbin, Hobbs-Awoyemi, Paice, Franks, Robson, De Chaves, Narraway (c), Cowan, Treviranus.

Reps: Ellis, Court, Hoskins, Sexton, Trayfoot, Allinson, Ransom.

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