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Alex Rae makes just one enforced change to the Coventry Rugby starting line-up that hosts Ealing tomorrow (Butts Park Arena, 2.30pm).

After claiming an impressive 27-12 success with a controlled display at Doncaster last Saturday, Cov’s boss omits only centre Tom Hitchcock from the run-on 15 that faces the table-topping Trailfinders.

The terms of the agreements under which the West Londoners have sent three players to the BPA on season-long loans prohibit the recently-arrived Hitchcock, prop Elliot Chilvers and lock Rhys Anstey from appearing against their parent club.

Former London Irish midfielder Hitchcock, who was one of Cov’s stand-out performers at Castle Park last week, is therefore replaced by Ollie Betteridge who makes his fourth appearance of the season.

Chilvers who appeared during the second half of last weekend’s victory as a replacement for fit-again Toby Trinder hands his place on the bench to tight head prop Eliot Salt while the versatile Vili Nairau covers loose head.

Anstey would in any case have missed the match due to a minor lower back niggle which means the youthful Chester Owen again provides second row cover.

The pacy David Opoku also gets another chance to impress from the bench.

Ealing claimed a four-try 31-13 home win over Cov when the sides last met in November. Cov’s boss is expecting another testing encounter against opponents who with seven games remaining have lost only once and are 13 points clear of his team and Cornish Pirates at the head of the Championship table.

“Ealing are top of the league and playing very well,” he said. “They have a big squad full of players with Premiership experience so it will be a massive test.

“The table doesn’t lie over the course of a season. They’re top because they’ve been clinical and won their games so it’s down to us to show we’ve made improvements since we last played them and we’re on the rise.

“The league is tight and there are four clubs very tightly packed behind Ealing. It will be whoever puts together a good run over the next few weeks that pulls away and creates a separation from maybe third place down and hopefully that’s us.”

Coventry: Wilson; Hutler, Wand, Betteridge, Martin; Pellegrini, Chudley; Trinder, Poole, Nicol; Tyas, Nkwocha; Ball, Kvesic, Nayalo. 

Replacements: Biggs, Nairau, Salt, Owen, Ma’asi, Lane, Mitchell, Opoku. Tickets for Coventry’s next Championship home game against Ealing on Saturday are available here.