Gloucester change three for visit of Bath to Kingsholm
Director of Rugby Nigel Davies retains the majority of the starting line up that triumphed at London Welsh last weekend as Gloucester welcome Bath Rugby to Kingsholm in round six of the Aviva Premiership on Saturday (kick off 2:15pm).
The 31-25 victory at the Kassam Stadium moved Gloucester up to fifth place in the Aviva Premiership table but their West Country rivals are breathing down their necks, just one point behind in sixth place.
So, as well as the usual bragging rights at stake, the teams are jostling for league position and Gloucester will be keen to sign off this phase of Aviva Premiership fixtures on a high note.
Back into the starting line up come Henry Trinder, Huia Edmonds and Ben Morgan. Morgan’s return sees Sione Kalamafoni move across from number eight to blindside flanker.
And, featuring in a Gloucester Rugby match day squad for the first time, is All Black scrum half Jimmy Cowan who is named amongst the replacements.
Talking to the media this week about the fixture, Davies admitted that he feels that there are certain similarities between the two teams but that Gloucester are ready for the encounter.
“I think we’re very similar to Bath at the moment. We’re both teams in transition with new coaching groups, new philosophies and new look teams.
“We’re both working hard to put those systems and philosophies in place, so it’ll be interesting to see which side comes out on top on Saturday.
“It’s important to keep the momentum going. We’re at home and we desperately want to win and put in a big performance.
“This group of players are playing with lots of confidence at the moment, with lots of belief. We’re ready for this fixture, it’s a huge fixture.”
Davies also dismissed the idea that Bath would suffer from the departure of Olly Barkley.
“He has kicked a lot of points for them so far this year, but they’ve still got quality in that position in a World Cup winner in Stephen Donald. I don’t think it’ll matter much, Bath are a pretty structured team.”
Rob Cook; Shane Monahan, Henry Trinder, Billy Twelvetrees, James Simpson-Daniel; Freddie Burns, Dan Robson; Nick Wood, Huia Edmonds, Rupert Harden; Tom Savage, Jim Hamilton (capt); Sione Kalamafoni, Akapusi Qera, Ben Morgan
Koree Britton, Dan Murphy, Shaun Knight, Will James, Gareth Evans, Jimmy Cowan, Mike Tindall, Martyn Thomas