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Your News London Welsh team news v Bedford

London Welsh head coach Lyn Jones makes five changes for Saturday’s visit to Bedford Blues from the starting line up which maintained the Exiles’ winning start to the Championship season against Plymouth.

Last year’s Player’s Player of the Year Hudson Tonga’uiha comes in for his first start of the new season, having made an appearance off the bench in last Saturday’s 34-23 win over Albion at Old Deer Park.

There’s a double change in the front row with Vili Ma’asi and James Tideswell starting in place of Dan George and Greg Bateman, who both drop to the bench.

Gary Johnson partners Matt Corker in the second row in place of Mike Powell, while there’s also a change in the back row with Mike Denbee coming in for Michael Hills.

“Revolving the squad is important,” said Jones. “The boys who’ve played so far have played well; it’s just unfortunate that they’re not involved.

“Hudson is a quality player and Bedford are a quality outfit. He’s disappointed from not making Tonga’s World Cup squad and he’s got a lot of catching up to do to get him match fit.”

It’s an early season top of the table clash at Goldington Road with both sides having won their opening two Championship fixtures, and Jones is expecting a tough test for the Exiles.

“I’ve watched Bedford play and they are a very good side, and I don’t just say that I mean it,” he said.

“They’re well coached, well organised, well motivated, they’re fit and they’re fast, and we’ve got our work cut out to get what we want from our visit to Goldington Road.

“But that’s what the boys are in it for, they want to be pushed and to play to the maximum, and I’m sure Bedford are going to do that.”

For Jones, cool heads will need to prevail if Welsh are to register their first win at Goldington Road since January 2009. Their three visits since have yielded three defeats, although two losing bonus points in the sides’ two Championship meetings, while the other was a comprehensive win for the Blues in the British & Irish Cup.

“Rugby isn’t played in the bicep, it’s played upstairs. It’s about who can keep their clam and their cool in pressure situations, and there are going to be several,” added Jones.

“The test is there for the players to show that they are quality players who can go up a league.”

London Welsh team v Bedford Blues: 15. Edd Thrower, 14. Will Hurrell, 13. Hudson Tonga’uiha*, 12. Simon Whatling, 11. Liam Gibson, 10. Gordon Ross*, 9. Rob Lewis, 1. Billy Moss, 2. Vili Ma’asi *, 3. James Tideswell, 4. Gary Johnson, 5. Matt Corker, 6. Jon Mills ©, 7. Mike Denbee, 8 Ed Jackson.

Replacements: 16. Dan George, 17. Greg Bateman, 18. Adam Brown, 19. Lee Beach, 20. Ben Stevenson, 21. Alex Davies. 22. Paul Mackey.

* Denotes full international

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