COVENTRY show four changes to their match-day squad for Saturday’s visit of Cambridge with the good news the inclusion of Olly Povoas in the back row.
The flanker was stretchered off the field at Ampthill last week with a neck injury and checked out in hospital, but has made a strong recovery and was given the all-clear to play after training well.
Also passed fit to face his former club is birthday boy, full-back James Stokes who came off with an ankle injury in the 22-8 defeat.
Co-captain Eoghan Grace misses out, however, with a wrist injury which will sideline him for one week.
Grace is replaced by dual-registered Wasps flanker Jack Willis, while Owain James returns on the wing in place of James Pritchard.
Tom Jubb is recalled in the second row for Tom Poole, and fly-half Tony Fenner and hooker Scott Tolmie start the game in a rotation with Will Maisey and Matt Price who move to the bench where Cliffie Hodgson, fit again after a shoulder problem, replaces Rhodri Adamson.
Both sides favour an open approach, and with the weather forecast of a dry, crisp afternoon, director of rugby Rowland Winter anticipates a lively game again the club he led to promotion last season.
“Cambridge will pose a different test to Ampthill tactically,” said Winter. “They are stacked with attacking minded players and they will look to test us at every opportunity.
“We were disappointed with our performance last week despite leading the game for a large period.
“We showed that we can dominate teams up front, but we didn’t get our attack flowing and we have worked hard this week to make sure we demonstrate that against Cambridge.
“With both teams looking to play, it should be a great game – fingers crossed for good weather!”
With Grace on the injured list are Rob Conquest and Andy Brown, both still completing their return-to-play protocols following concussions against Blaydon.
Sam Grasso is now running and will return to training in early December, and Max Trimble is only a week away from a return after training with the squad this week.
Kick-off is 3pm, and live post-match entertainment in the clubhouse will be provided by Gdansk.
COVENTRY: 15 James Stokes, 14 Owain James,13 Corey Hircock, 12 Tom Wheatcroft (captain), 11 Rob Knox, 10 Tony Fenner, 9 Pete White,1 Boris Stankovich, 2 Scott Tolmie, 3 Phil Boulton, 4 Tom Jubb, 5 Brendon Snyman, 6 Jack Willis, 7 Olly Povoas, 8 Darrel Dyer.
Replacements: 16 Matt Price, 17 Jimmy Litchfield, 18 Brett Daynes, 19 Cliffie Hodgson, 20 Will Maisey.