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Gloucester Rugby make two changes for Friday’s visit of Saracens

Gloucester Rugby make two changes for Friday’s visit of Saracens
Gloucester Rugby welcome Saracens to Kingsholm on Friday evening in round 14 of Gallagher Premiership Rugby action, and make two changes to their starting line-up from the side that defeated Exeter last weekend.

It’s the second week in a row that the Cherry and Whites will have entertained the league leaders as they look to keep their own top four ambitions alive.

Both changes are in the pack. In the second row, Ed Slater comes in for Tom Savage while, in the back row, Jaco Kriel is named at openside flanker with Ruan Ackermann moving to the blindside flank.

Meanwhile, amongst the replacements, Italian international Jake Polledri has recovered from injury and is named in the matchday squad for the first time since the Heineken Champions Cup game at Exeter in December.

Previewing the Saracens game with the media this week, Head Coach Johan Ackermann admitted that Gloucester Rugby will have to put in a more efficient performance than they did in beating Exeter last Friday.

“We can’t afford to waste scoring opportunities against Saracens. We got away with it against Exeter, but probably won’t against Saracens. They were in a tight game against Leicester last week for 60 minutes and then scored 30 points and made it look easy.

“If we get to 60 minutes, and it’s a close game and we haven’t taken our scoring opportunities, then they’re the sort of side that can punish you. So, we’ll have to improve in that area.

“For us, we have to re-set everything. We have to defend well, our set-piece is going to be massive again as it was against Exeter. They’re a quality side who haven’t been domestic and European champions for nothing.

“I know they have players out, but they’ve been together as a group for a long time. Every player is comfortable with how they play, and they will still have a lot of internationals and experience out there.” 

Gloucester Rugby:

  1. Jason Woodward; 14. Tom Marshall, 13. Billy Twelvetrees, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Ollie Thorley; 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Willi Heinz (capt); 1. Josh Hohneck, 2. Franco Marais, 3. Fraser Balmain; 4. Ed Slater, 5. Franco Mostert; 6. Ruan Ackermann, 7. Jaco Kriel, 8. Ben Morgan


  1. James Hanson, 17. Paddy McAllister, 18. Ciaran Knight, 19. Freddie Clarke, 20. Jake Polledri, 21. Callum Braley, 22. Owen Williams, 23. Matt Banahan

Unavailable for selection:

Ruan Dreyer, Lloyd Evans, Todd Gleave, Tom Hudson, Val Rapava Ruskin, Charlie Sharples