London Welsh head coach Justin Burnell will make wholesale changes for Saturday’s derby with London Scottish at the Kassam Stadium, which sees first take on third in the Greene King IPA Championship table.
Welsh go into the game eight points clear and on the back of consecutive bonus point wins over Edinburgh Academical in the British & Irish Cup.
Only Rob Lewis, Alec Hepburn and Pete Browne survive from the exiles team, which last weekend beat the Accies 33-7 at Raeburn Place.
“It’s a massive game and London Scottish are a very good side,” said Burnell.
“It’s a big derby and there’s a lot of history involved, but we’re getting quite comfortable sitting at the top of the table and we don’t want to be moved from there. That’s incentive enough for us.
“It was great to get two good performances under our belt in the B&I Cup to build back into the Championship. We’ve been fortunate the last fortnight to rest up some of our tired bodies and recharge the batteries.
“We let ourselves down at Bedford, our performance was unacceptable - from 1-15 everyone underachieved. We weren’t at the races. We’ve had a good look at it and hopefully it won’t happen again.”
Saturday’s meeting will be number 66 between the clubs. Welsh lead the way on 33 wins, with Scottish on 27 and five draws. The sides’ first meeting was London Welsh’s first-ever game on October 24, 1885 – Scottish winning by a try and a goal at Saracens' old Walthamstow ground in East London.
The sides’ last meeting came in the B&I Cup at Newbury RFC’s Monks Lane ground. Scottish running out 32-26 winners.
The last time they met in the Championship was on February 19, 2012, when Welsh won 29-22 at the Athletic Ground, Richmond.