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Chapman to make Premiership debut as Gloucester Rugby name side to take on London Irish

Chapman to make Premiership debut as Gloucester Rugby name side to take on London Irish
Scrum-half Charlie Chapman will make his first Premiership start for Gloucester Rugby on Saturday as the Cherry and Whites travel to take on London Irish at the Madejski Stadium (kick off 3pm).

Second row Franco Mostert will continue as skipper in a team that features seven changes from the side that started against Exeter Chiefs last weekend. International call-ups play a part with the likes of Callum Braley, Chris Harris, Willi Heinz and Jake Polledri away on Six Nations duty.

The changes in the pack see Josh Hohneck and Todd Gleave come into the front row, Ed Slater make his first start since recovering from injury and Freddie Clarke starting on the blindside flank.

In the backs, Charlie Chapman and Ollie Thorley replace Joe Simpson and Tom Marshall who both picked up injuries against the Chiefs last week, and Mark Atkinson resumes his midfield partnership with Billy Twelvetrees.

Amongst the replacements, flanker Aaron Hinkley and Stephen Varney could make their first Premiership appearances of the season, the latter made available by Italy U20s for this fixture.

Head Coach Johan Ackermann told the local media this week that Irish are going well at the moment but that his squad have prepared well.

“They (Irish) are in good form, on paper they have a quality side and they’ve backed that with their performances. There are no easy games and they will be confident.

“We haven’t fired on all cylinders recently, so it’s going to be a big challenge but we can hopefully kickstart our game if we start playing to our full potential. It’s important that we stay composed as we’re not even halfway through the season and there are a lot of points still to play for.

“Credit to the players, they’ve trained with a lot of energy this week and they’re in good spirits. We must keep believing that we control our own destiny and now put undue pressure on ourselves.”

Gloucester Rugby:

  1. Matt Banahan; 14. Louis Rees-Zammit, 13. Billy Twelvetrees, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Ollie Thorley, 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Charlie Chapman; 1. Josh Hohneck, 2. Todd Gleave, 3. Fraser Balmain; 4. Ed Slater, 5. Franco Mostert (capt); 6. Freddie Clarke, 7. Lewis Ludlow, 8. Ruan Ackermann


Replacements:

  1. Henry Walker, 17. Val Rapava-Ruskin, 18. Ciaran Knight, 19. Ben Morgan, 20. Aaron Hinkley, 21. Stephen Varney, 22. Lloyd Evans, 23. Tom Seabrook


Unavailable for selection:

Callum Braley, Ruan Dreyer, Jamal Ford-Robinson, James Hanson, Chris Harris, Willi Heinz, Franco Marais, Tom Marshall, Jake Polledri, Charlie Sharples, Joe Simpson, Owen Williams, Jason Woodward
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