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Gloucester-Hartpury make four changes for visit of Richmond Women

Gloucester-Hartpury make four changes for visit of Richmond Women
Injuries and international call-ups result in Head Coach Susie Appleby making several changes to the Gloucester-Hartpury line-up for Saturday’s Tyrrells Premier 15s fixture at home to Richmond Women (kick-off 2pm, Gillman’s Ground).

It’s the final game in this block of matches in the Tyrrells Premier 15s, with the league taking a three week break for the Autumn international period and Gloucester-Hartpury will be looking to finish on a positive note.

The back line is actually unchanged from the one that started against Saracens at Allianz Park last weekend.

Up front, however, only Laura Swan remains from the starting front row last weekend and she moves from hooker to tighthead. Abi Castle and Ellie Gilbert come in at loosehead and hooker respectively.

In the second row, England U20 squad member Iona Antwis will partner skipper Zoe Aldcroft and, in the back row, Heather Fisher will make her first start for Gloucester-Hartpury in place of Sian Williams.

Susie Appleby explained the changes as she previewed the fixture this week.

“We’ve made four changes for Richmond’s trip to us this Saturday. We have players away on International duty, and we’ve picked up some injuries. But it’s testament to the depth within our squad that we are still able to field a really strong squad.

“Iona Antwis has been doing really well off the bench and deserves her first start of the campaign, at the age of 17. Abi Castle has been performing well in the A team and also deserves her start. Heather Fisher did well last week and, with Sian Williams away playing for the RAF this week, she gets her opportunity.

“Our back line has been on fire and remains unchanged. Sophie Tandy has been outstanding in the A team and I’m excited to see her impact from the bench.

“Richmond are a strong team, and particularly powerful up front, we know we are in for a battle on Saturday. They also have very skilful backs, so we need to make good decisions and be more accurate in our execution so we don’t give them too much ball to play with.

“We are really dangerous at times in games and score some good tries, but we are still searching for the consistency that will see us become a force to be reckoned with in this league.”

Gloucester-Hartpury Women:

  1. Dyddgu Hywel; 14. Ellie Underwood, 13. Millie Wood, 12. Tatyana Heard, 11. Kelly Smith; 10. Ceri Large (vice-capt), 9. Bianca Blackburn; 1. Abi Castle, 2. Ellie Gilbert, 3. Laura Swan; 4. Iona Antwis, 5. Zoe Aldcroft (capt); 6. Tabs Copson, 7. Heather Fisher, 8. Shona Powell Hughes


Replacements:

  1. Ranni Samuda, 17. Anabelle Whitecross, 18. Elle Febry, 19. Taz Bricknell, 20. Sarah Nicholas, 21. Shauna Bennett, 22. Sophie Tandy

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