Gloucester Rugby can today confirm that they will no longer be playing Plymouth Albion in a preseason friendly on Saturday August 16th, but will now compete in the World Club 7s on the same weekend.
The intention had been to play a double header against the Greene King IPA Championship duo of Plymouth Albion and Leeds Carnegie.
However, Gloucester are now set to participate in the World Club 7s, which takes place at Twickenham on 16 & 17 August, due to winning the JP Morgan 7s last summer.
Certain players will also be unavailable for selection as it is an EPS rest week, which means that the club feels it would not be able to field teams and compete on three fronts in a meaningful manner.
CEO Stephen Vaughan confirmed the change today.
"We want all our fixtures to be as competitive as possible. With a number of our resources now set to be on duty at Twickenham that day in the World Club Sevens, and a number of our international players also unavailable, we felt that we couldn't play two full matches in one day as well as the Sevens tournament.
"We're very disappointed as Plymouth were a welcome preseason guest to Kingsholm last season. I'd like to thank them for their understanding, they're naturally disappointed but have been terrific about the matter.
"We appreciate our supporters were looking forward to seeing as many of the squad as possible in action on the one day but, with the Leeds and Munster friendly fixtures, plus the Premiership Rugby 7s all taking place at Kingsholm, there is a feast of rugby set to come this summer."
Gloucester's preseason fixture schedule will now be as follows:
Saturday August 16th, Leeds Carnegie, Kingsholm, 3pm
Saturday August 23rd, Munster Rugby, Kingsholm, 3pm
Saturday August 30th, Scarlets, Parc y Scarlets, 3pm
Tickets are still available for the Premiership Rugby 7s and are priced at just £10 for adults, £5 for concessions and £1 for juniors. Club Members are reminded that this event is included in their membership.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees, speaking to GRTV after the 35-10 over Zebre, was happy with the bonus point win over the Italian side but admitted Gloucester will need to tighten up for the return fixture in Parma.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).