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Suva Ma’asi and Adam Nicol return to Coventry’s front row for Sunday’s Championship visit to Nottingham (3pm kick off).

Former Jersey Reds tight head Nicol, who proved an influential figure when Cov triumphed on a heavy pitch at Doncaster last month, may well again play a key role for Alex Rae’s team if expected underfoot conditions arise.

Hooker Ma’asi has caught the eye when emerging as a replacement in recent weeks following a lengthy injury absence and he gets a first start since the autumn.

This allows club captain Jordon Poole to rotate to the bench following a hectic season in which he has already started 19 games and often played most of the 80 minutes. In Poole’s absence loose head prop Toby Trinder captains the side.

Cov otherwise name the same back five forwards that began the club’s emphatic round 18 home win over Cambridge last Friday evening.

Behind the scrum Ryan Hutler’s rotation to the bench allows Tobi Wilson to return to the starting line-up on the right wing while Evan Mitchell retains the full back shirt.

Tom Hitchcock and Will Wand continue their in-form midfield partnership while the experienced Will Chudley is reunited with half-back partner Pat Pellegrini.

Head coach Rae said his team must dominate physically if they are to extend their winning run to six games.

“We’ve got to go there and assert our game on them which is something we’ve done really well to teams in the last couple of months,” he said. 

“We need to have a dominant set piece like we did in the mud at Doncaster. We’re very flexible in how we go about things – when it’s wet and muddy the biggest thing is to be very physical, kick well and ensure your lineout and scrum operate well.

“Although we’re one of the highest points scorers in the league I’m confident we can vary our approach as required, bring plenty of energy and adapt to the challenge in front of us.”

Coventry Rugby: Mitchell; Wilson, Wand, Hitchcock, Martin; Pellegrini, Chudley; Trinder, Ma’asi, Nicol; Tyas, Nkwocha; Ball, Kvesic, Nayalo.

Replacements: Poole, Nairau, Salt, Anstey, Owen, Venner, Hutler, Ryan. Tickets for Coventry’s next home game against Bedford on Saturday April 20th are available here.