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- The Championship
- Play-Off Final
- 4th Jun 2014
- KO 19:45
- Ground: Memorial Ground
- Att: 12,100
RFU Championship final: Bristol host London Welsh at Memorial Ground in second leg
Bristol must overturn a 19-point deficit when they host London Welsh at the Memorial Stadium in the second leg of the Championship final on Wednesday.
The Exiles took a giant stride towards securing an immediate return to the Aviva Premiership with a 27-8 victory in the first leg at the Kassam Stadium.
Nathan Trevett, Nick Scott and Carl Kirwan all touched down as Justin Burnell's side amassed a 19-point lead ahead of their trip to the West Country.
There were also 12 points from the boot of Gordon Ross as the Exiles capitalised on an error-strewn performance from the regular season table-toppers.
A Marco Mama try put Bristol in front before they conceded 24 unanswered points before Adrian Jarvis added a penalty in the dying stages of the match.
There was a further hammer blow for Bristol coach Andy Robinson, who lost former British Lion and Wales captain Ryan Jones after he was stretchered off with an ankle injury midway through the first leg in Oxford.
The loss of Jones has forced Robinson into making one of four changes to the side which started against the Exiles in the return leg.
Mitch Eadie comes in to cover the absence of Jones at No 8, while Gaston Cortes comes into the front row at tighthead prop.
Ruki Tipuna comes into the side as skipper in place of the injured Luke Baldwin and there is a first league start since March for Charlie Amesbury on the right wing.
Bristol retain a four forwards and three backs split on the bench and James Grindal could make his first league appearance since February after being included in the 22-man squad.
Similarly, Burnell has made four changes to his London Welsh side, with club captain Matt Corker set to make his 199th appearance.
In the backs, Alan Awcock starts at full back with Seb Stegmann moving to the right wing and Rhys Crane is named as cover among the replacements.
Up front, Mitch Lees returns to the side at blindside flanker to make his first appearance since Welsh's win over Jersey in April Richard Thorpe starts at No 8.
Bristol: 15 Wallace; 14 Amesbury, 13 Tovey, 12 Mosses, 11 Short; 10 Robinson, 9 Tipuna (capt); 1 Traynor, 2 Johnston, 3 Cortes, 4 Glynn, 5 Townson, 6 Koster, 7 Mama, 8 Eadie
Replacements: 16 Lawrence, 17 Hall, 18 Hobson, 19 Skirving, 20 Grindal, 21 Jarvis, 22 Hughes
London Welsh: 15 Awcock; 14 Stegmann, 13 May (capt), 12 Jewell, 11 Scott, 10 Ross, 9 Cook; 1 Trevett, 2 Morris, 3 Edwards, 4 Spencer, 5 Corker, 6 Lees, 7 Kirwan, 8 Thorpe
Replacements: 16 Vella, 17 Bristow, 18 Tideswell, 19 West, 20 Stedman, 21 Lewis, 22 Crane
You can watch the second leg between Bristol and London Welsh from 7:30pm on Sky Sports 1HD
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|Bristol 26 - 17 Rotherham Titans|
|Saturday 22nd November|
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|Nottingham 13 - 27 Bristol|
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|Yorkshire Carnegie 0 - 6 Rotherham Titans|
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Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com