Local product Evan Mitchell wears the fly half shirt for Coventry Rugby in tomorrow’s Premiership Rugby Cup round three visit to Hartpury (Alpas Arena, 2.30pm).
The 21-year-old no.10 comes into Alex Rae’s starting line-up to replace Pat Pellegrini who was last weekend added to Tonga’s World Cup squad.
Rae makes three other changes behind the scrum to the side that was pegged back to a 21-all outcome at the Stoop.
Last week’s two-try star Will Rigg moves to the bench to allow Lucas Titherington an outing in the centre where he partners the in-form Will Wand.
Outside them summer signing Tobi Wilson makes his first competitive start for his new club on the left wing while experienced scrum-half Will Chudley returns to the side after recovering from a sore back. Ollie Betteridge is named among the replacements.
Cov also make changes in all three rows of the scrum among which loose head prop Elliot Chilvers and ex-Gloucester no.8 Jack Bartlett join Wilson in making their first appearances in the run-on team.
On the right-hand-side of the front row Eliot Salt and Ollie Andrews swap bench and starting shirts while George Smith and Tom Ball respectively step in for the rested Rhys Anstey and the suspended Tiki Nayalo at lock and no.8.
Back-rower Chester Owen and lock Obi Nkwocha will make their competitive Coventry debuts should they appear from the replacements bench while fit-again hooker Will Biggs is in line to make his first appearance of the season from the bench.
Hartpury have begun their cup campaign with a defeat at Gloucester and a win at Nottingham and therefore lie fourth in pool A three points adrift of Coventry and Harlequins who in turn trail unbeaten Gloucester by a further three points.
Cov’s boss is therefore expecting a tricky test at a venue where his team’s most recent visit in the Championship ended in a 45-36 defeat.
“Hartpury are always difficult opponents especially away from home. They are well coached and playing them is always a tough challenge,” he said.
“We’re paying them exactly the same respect that we paid Harlequins and Saracens.
“We’re enjoying this cup competition and as I said straight after the game at Quins our draw there and the win over Saracens don’t count for much if we don’t go to Hartpury and back those performances up.”
Coventry Rugby: James; Hutler, Wand, Titherington, Wilson; Mitchell, Chudley; Chilvers, Poole, Andrews; Tyas, Smith; Ryan, Ball, Bartlett.
Replacements: Biggs, Trinder, Salt, Nkwocha, Owen, Ogden, Betteridge, Rigg.
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