WELLINGTON'S second string made a disappointing start to their new league campaign with a 32-3 defeat by newly-relegated Bristol Barbarians.

The match saw senior team debuts for youngsters Sam John, Jake Smith and Luke Brereton who all excelled themselves against very large and streetwise opposition.

Unfortunately John was unlucky to suffer a nasty injury 20 minutes from full time which forced play to be shifted to nearby Beech Grove while he received treatment.

After being taken to hospital he was diagnosed with a break to the lower part of his leg which will probably mean he won't return to play until the New Year - a blow to both player and club as he is definitely first team material.

Played in glorious sunshine throughout, the match was fast paced and entertaining.

The visitors held a slight dominance in the scrums but the line-outs were fairly even, meaning both sides had their fair share of possession.

After Stephen Mason opened the scoring on nine minutes with a well taken penalty, Barbarians reacted immediately with a try down the touchline.

They added another ten minutes later to leave the interval score just 3-10 despite some very strong drives at the Wellington line in the final moments of the half.

Playing up the hill in the second half Wellington showed patches of great togetherness with forwards and backs aiming to implement the game plan introduced this season by club coach Lee Waddon.

But players tiring and gaps started to show in defence which the opposition was quick to exploit.

They scored a further try on the main pitch and two more in the final five minutes on Beech Grove when the game was moved due to the injury to John.

Barbarians deserved the win but the final two tries made the scoreline look like a much easier task than it actually was.

Wellington played extremely well and the heart and team spirit is still evident within the side.

Tom Sargent, normally a centre, enjoyed a fine match at flanker.

Wellington: Westcott, John, Markes, Turney, Gill, Smith, Perry, Gill, Maddocks, Mason, Johnson, Bellamy, Weeks, Gamlin, Cash. Replacements: Brereton, Miller, John.