ENGLAND scrum-half Peter Richards will be the key man for Gloucester tomorrow when they aim to retain the Coral.co.uk Middlesex Sevens title at Twickenham.
The Kingsholm club claimed the title by beating Wasps last season and Richards will lead the squad tomorrow. He will be joined by fellow scrum-halves Rory Lawson and Haydn Thomas, number 10 Ryan Lamb, sevens specialist Luke Narraway, Rob Elloway and Adam Eustace.
The squad is made up of three Hartpury College students - full-back Pete Swatkins, utility back Dan Norton and Lydney winger Tom Jarvis. Jamie Blackie is a winger from Gloucester university. The squad is completed by 16-year-old Charlie Sharples, who scored a hat-trick for St Peter's School in the Daily Mail Under-19 final last season.
Rob Thirlby, who has represented England at sevens, is recovering from a slight neck injury and is a non-playing coach. Gloucester are in the same pool as Harlequins and Sale.
SQUAD: Pete Richards, Rory Lawson, Haydn Thomas, Rob Elloway, Luke Narraway, Adam Eustace, Ryan Lamb, Pete Swatkins, Dan Norton, Tom Jarvis, Jamie Blackie, Charlie Sharples.
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.
Matt Kvesic was a try scorer and recipient of the Man of the Match award in Sunday's 35-10 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Zebre. He praised the Italian side for their spirited opposition and admitted that next week's return game will be a tough one.
After a tense opening half hour in Parma, the game turned just before half time as the home team had David Odiete red carded and Gloucester took full advantage, running in three second half tries to secure the bonus point and the victory over Zebre by 32 points to 16.