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Leeds Carnegie coaching duo of Andy Key and Neil Back have named a strong line up for their side’s opening game in the Amlin Challenge Cup at Bucharest Oaks this Saturday, kick off 1pm GMT.

Phil Nilsen and Jacob Rowan are the only two players in the starting line up who have not started a game already this season. Leeds Carnegie will be making their second trip to Bucharest in two seasons. Leeds won 10-6 at Bucharest last December.

Scotland U20 scrum half Alex Black could make his debut off the bench along with centre Oliver Denton, who is the younger brother of second row Tom Denton. If Oliver comes on, it will be the second time that a pair of brothers have played for Leeds Carnegie, following in the footsteps of the Murphy brothers; Chris and Phil.

The squad in full is:

15 Leigh Hinton

14 Michael Stephenson

13 James Tincknell

12 Luther Burrell

11 Henry Faafili

10 Christian Lewis Pratt

9 Warren Fury

1 Gareth Hardy

2 Phil Nilsen

3 Miguel Alonso

4 Tom Denton

5 Sean Hohneck

6 Kearnan Myall

7 Jacob Rowan

8 Rhys Oakley

16 Andy Titterrell

17 Mike Macdonald

18 Jesus Moreno Rodriquez

19 James Craig

20 Daniel Browne

21 Alex Black

22 Ceiron Thomas

23 Oliver Denton

You can follow all the action from Bucharest at www.leedscarnegie.com throughout Saturday afternoon with a regularly updated match report throughout the game also there will be match updates appearing on the official club Twitter page at www.twitter.com/carnegierugby

Leeds Carnegie Head Coach Neil Back looks ahead to this Saturday’s Amlin Challenge Cup opening game at Bucharest Oaks, kick off 1pm GMT.

How are you approaching this weekend’s game?

We have made no secret that our focus this season is on consolidating and building on our achievements last season in the Aviva Premiership. However, the Amlin Challenge Cup gives us an chance to give some game time to players who have been desperate to play in the first five rounds of this season. European competition does bring with it different kinds of challenges that can help freshen things up and we are looking forward to the trip to Romania.

Are Bucharest an unknown quantity for you?

We haven’t been able to get hold of any footage of them from this season however we obviously played against them last season and the squad looks very similar so we have some idea. Their number eight, who ran the game for them the last time we were in Bucharest, is no longer at the club so that is one threat we do not need to worry about however I am sure they will be wanting to put in a strong performance in their opening game of the competition.

In many ways this is similar to how rugby used to be before all the analysis and research on the opposition. You have to just worry about yourself and making sure you are ready to perform regardless of the side you face. You have to react and adapt to what is thrown up and that is what we will be looking for from the players on Saturday.

How is your squad shaping up?

Thankfully we have had some good news on Danny Paul after he came off injured last week against London Irish. He has suffered some damage to his ribs but we are confident he will be back fit for our next Aviva Premiership game against Sale at Headingley Carnegie. We have a few guys who have picked up some bumps and bruises in the first five rounds of the season and we will have to monitor them before we decide whether to take them on a long away trip in Europe especially as we do not know what conditions we will face. However, whatever team we field on Saturday we are sure they will produce a performance we can be proud of.

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