George Skivington has named his matchday 23 for Friday night’s West Country derby against Bath in Round 10 of the Gallagher Premiership.
Louis Rees-Zammit, Chris Harris and Stephen Varney have all returned from international duty with Ed Slater also returning to Cherry and White action, starting at lock alongside Alex Craig.
Rees-Zammit is joined by Ollie Thorley and Jason Woodward in the back three with Willi Heinz and Billy Twelvetrees continuing their partnership at half back. Tom Seabrook starts alongside Harris in the midfield.
In the forwards, Val Rapava Ruskin, Henry Walker and Fraser Balmain make up the front row with the aforementioned partnership of Ed Slater and Alex Craig behind them at second row. Jordy Reid, Ruan Ackermann and Lewis Ludlow, who resumes the captaincy, make up the back row.
The Cherry and Whites have a mix of experience and youth on the bench with George Barton set to make his first appearance since the Exeter Chiefs fixture on Boxing Day.
Stephen Varney will look to bring the tempo he has shown in the Italy shirt this Six Nations off the bench with Henry Trinder also among the replacements.
Santiago Socino is set to make his second Gloucester Rugby appearance with Alex Seville, Jamal Ford-Robinson, Ollie Atkins and Freddie Clarke all amongst the replacements.
11 of the 23 selected for this historic fixture have come through the Gloucester Rugby Academy.
George Skivington knows how much of a test this fixture will be.
“They’re not a bad team! They were in the top four last year, but they’ve not had the start they’d have wanted, similar to us. They’ve been established for a good while and I think for them it’s just about finding their feet and getting a bit of momentum. I expect them to be fully charged up for the weekend so it should be a good match.
“They’ve got threats all over the park and have a well organised set piece. They’ve got a good backline and Rhys Priestland runs it well so it’s about how do you stop it and how you deal with it than anything else, but I know they’re a good team."
15. Jason Woodward
14. Louis Rees-Zammit *
13. Chris Harris
12. Tom Seabrook *
11. Ollie Thorley *
10. Billy Twelvetrees
9. Willi Heinz
1. Val Rapava-Ruskin
2. Henry Walker *
3. Fraser Balmain
4. Ed Slater
5. Alex Craig *
6. Jordy Reid
7. Lewis Ludlow (c) *
8. Ruan Ackermann
16. Santiago Socino
17. Alex Seville *
18. Jamal Ford-Robinson
19. Ollie Atkins
20. Freddie Clarke *
21. Stephen Varney *
22. George Barton *
23. Henry Trinder *
*Denotes Academy player or graduate from the Gloucester Rugby Academy