Ford-Robinson starts as Wanderers face Exeter in final

Jamal Ford-Robinson returns from injury to start for the Wanderers (picture: Sharon Lucey)
Jamal Ford-Robinson returns from injury to start for the Wanderers (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Jamal Ford-Robinson is handed a start as the Wanderers make one change for their Prem Rugby A League final against Exeter Braves at Franklin's Gardens tonight (kick-off 7.30pm).

Prop Ford-Robinson has returned from injury and lines up in the No.3 shirt as he comes in for Ehren Painter, who is among the replacements.

The Wanderers booked their place in the final by beating Harlequins 46-27 in last Monday's semi-final at the Gardens.

And they now have home advantage again as they battle a Braves side who cruised past Newcastle Falcons in their final-four encounter.

“This is a different group to last season, but they are just as hungry for success,” said Saints Academy head coach Mark Hopley.

“Silverware is so important for the club and for young players in particular.

"Getting used to success at a young age creates a winning culture, but we’re focused on doing the basics right and hopefully the score will look after itself.

“I’m sure we’ll get a large crowd once again under the lights at Franklin’s Gardens to create a big-game atmosphere.

"Hopefully we can repay the incredible support they’ve given us throughout this season.”

The Braves, who will again be skippered by flanker James Freeman, remain largely unchanged from the side that beat the Falcons last time out.

Billy Keast comes in at loosehead with Scottish international Moray Low moved to tighthead following a knee injury to Marcus Street.

The other change in the pack sees Sean Lonsdale get the nod over Wilhelm Van Der Sluys at lock.

On the bench, Danny Southworth fills the void left following the promotion of Keast into the starting line-up.

Exeter's back division remains the same and has plenty of experience with the likes of Will Chudley, James Short, Tom Hendrickson, Michele Campagnaro, Tom O'Flaherty and Max Bodilly all starting.

Tickets for tonight’s match against are available to purchase from the Franklin's Gardens ticket office for £5 (adults) and £2 (juniors), while entry for Saints season ticket holders is free.

Wanderers: Collins; Pisi, Dingwall, Stephenson (c), Tuitavake; Grayson, Mitchell; van Wyk, Clare, Ford-Robinson; D Onojaife, Moon; Ludlam, Ryan, Nutley.

Replacements: Fish, Beesley, Painter, Trinder, Allman, Emery, Strachan, Elliott.

Exeter Braves: Bodilly; O'Flaherty, Campagnaro, Hendrickson, Short; Morley, Chudley; Keast, Malton, Low; Salmon, Lonsdale; Freeman (c), Kvesic, Lawday.

Replacements: Innard, Kenny, Southworth, van der Sluys, Caulfield, Snow, Skinner, Strong.