Schonert to become Warriors centurion

Warriors tighthead prop Nick Schonert will join an exclusive club in Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership match against Northampton Saints at Franklin’s Gardens (kick-off 3.00pm).

Schonert will become only the 21st Warriors player to make 100 first team appearances for the club and he will have the honour of leading out the side at Northampton as he reaches the landmark.

Former lock Craig Gillies holds Warriors’ appearance record with 288 and two members of the current squad – Chris Pennell, who will start at full-back on Saturday, and departing scrum-half Jonny Arr – have also played more than 200 times.

Schonert, 27, joined Warriors in 2014 from Cheetahs in his native South Africa and he has been involved with the England senior squad over the past two years but is still awaiting his first cap.

Warriors have made only one change to the side which beat Gloucester on Sunday to secure their Premiership status.

GJ van Velze has recovered from a fractured forearm and will make his first appearance since mid-February.
Van Velze, a former Northampton player, will replace Marco Mama who had been deputising as captain but who underwent surgery on Sunday on complications from a dead leg sustained against Gloucester.

Cornell du Preez will switch from number eight to the blindside flank to accommodate van Velze.

Wales wing Josh Adams has recovered from the wrist injury he suffered against Gloucester.

Warriors | 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Perry Humphreys, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Ben Te’o, 11 Josh Adams, 10 Duncan Weir, 9 Francois Hougaard, 1 Ethan Waller, 2 Niall Annett, 3 Nick Schonert, 4 Anton Bresler, 5 Darren Barry, 6 Cornell du Preez, 7 Sam Lewis, 8 GJ van Velze (C).

Replacements | 16 Jack Singleton, 17 Callum Black, 18 Gareth Milasinovich, 19 Michael Fatialofa 20 Andrew Kitchener, 21 Ted Hill, 22 Michael Heaney, 23 Jono Lance.

Northampton Saints | 15 Ahsee Tuala, 14 Tom Collins, 13 Rory Hutchinson, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 Taqele Naiyaravoro, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Cobus Reinach, 1 Alex Waller (C), 2 Reece Marshall, 3 Ben Franks, 4 Api Ratuniyarawa, 5 Courtney Lawes, 6 Jamie Gibson, 7 Tom Wood, 8 Teimana Harrison.

Replacements | 16 Samson Ma’asi, 17 Francois Van Wyk, 18 Paul Hill, 19 Alex Coles, 20 Lewis Ludlam, 21 Alex Mitchell, 22 Piers Francis, 23 Ken Pisi.