Peter Richards expects stern test as London Scottish prepare to face Bristol Rugby in British & Irish Cup

Peter Richards is anticipating a tough encounter with unbeaten Bristol Rugby as London Scottish host the Championship high-flyers in the British & Irish Cup on Saturday.

The Scots sit third in Pool One having lost their opening fixture in the group 23-17 away to Pontypridd last week, but Bristol, who have won five from five in the Championship, come to the Athletic Ground after a 50-34 cup win against Connacht.

And former England scrum half Richards, turned London Scottish backs coach, wants his side to end their poor run against Bristol with a combative performance.

“It’s important psychologically to match-up against them in this game because we are facing them a few times this season,” said Richards, who won 13 England caps.

“Bristol are a quality team and we found that out at Ashton Gate last month in the league encounter.

“Whatever side Andy Robinson selects it will be a stern test for us. They have quality throughout the squad.

“But we are unbeaten at home this year and want to preserve that record on Saturday.

“We are putting out a strong team in the hope of ending our poor record against Bristol.”

The Scots make ten changes to their starting XV with no fewer than seven recalls in the pack, including second-row James Phillips, who was called up this morning to the Championship XV squad to face Canada in November.

In the backs, leading Championship try scorer Miles Mantella returns having made his 50th appearance for Scottish off the bench in Wales last weekend.

Academy winger Charlie Dockery plays on the right wing with Connor Braid, the 24-year-old Canada international on loan from Glasgow, partnering PJ Gidlow in the centres.

Kick-off at the Athletic Ground is at 3pm on Saturday.

London Scottish: Lydon; Dockery, Braid, Gidlow, Mantella; Newton, Stevenson; Hallam, Kwasnicki, Maguire, Phillips, Preocanin, Best, Walker, Bright

Replacements: Lilley, Cherry, Maidment, Tuisamoa, Gillanders, Heeks, Auld

Bristol Rugby: Hudson; Wallace, Eves, Cooke, Amesbury; Sheedy, Hampson; Genge, Brooker, Cortes, Glynn, Townson, Koster, Robinson, Ovens.

Replacements: Crumpton, Traynor, Joyce, Stephenson​, Baldwin, Carpenter, Edwards.

Feature image of Peter Richards courtesy of London Scottish, with thanks

Related Articles