COVENTRY Rugby have been boosted by the return of Senitiki Nayalo ahead of their trip to Cambridge this weekend.
The former London Irish and Edinburgh powerhouse missed Coventry’s home defeat against Hartpury while on British Army duty.
Joining Nayalo in the back row are Matt Kvesic and Paddy Ryan as the latter makes a first start since being part of the USA’s autumn international campaign during early November.
Cov boss Alex Rae said: “Cambridge have got better with each week that’s passed and last time went very close to beating Nottingham.
“They seem to be finding their feet in the Championship pretty quickly – for sure we don’t want to be the first team they beat and we’re expecting a really tough battle.
“Looking at their games so far they have a good scrum and maul and with the weather having been so bad we’ve no idea what the pitch will be like.”
Rae makes a change in the second row where Obi Nkwocha makes his sixth start of the season while Rhys Anstey moves to the bench.
With Toby Trinder, Ollie Andrews, Adam Nicol, Suva Ma’asi and Will Biggs still on the recovery trail, the blue-and-whites name a same-again starting front row trio while Bath’s John Stewart and Exeter’s Danny Southworth join recent Fijian recruit Vili Nairau among the replacements.
Behind the scrum, Tobi Wilson returns to the full back shirt he filled with such distinction during his club’s emphatic home win over Doncaster.
Cov also make two changes to their three-quarter line with Will Wand and Jimmy Martin, who have nine tries between them this season, returning to the starting team while Evan Mitchell goes to the bench.
The last league meeting between the two clubs took place in March 2017 as Cov came away with a 36-27 victory.
Coventry: Wilson; Hutler, Wand, Rigg, Martin; Pellegrini, Chudley; Chilvers, Poole, Salt; Tyas, Nkwocha; Ryan, Kvesic, Nayalo.
Replacements: Stewart, Southworth, Nairau, Anstey, Ball, Lane, Mitchell, Bartlett