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Gloucester Rugby name side for Gallagher Premiership regular season finale at Sale

Gloucester Rugby name side for Gallagher Premiership regular season finale at Sale
It’s the final round of the regular Gallagher Premiership season this weekend, and Gloucester Rugby travel north to take on Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium. Tom Savage will skipper the side.

It’s a line-up that shows multiple changes, both in the forwards and in the backs, from the side that started against Newcastle Falcons at Kingsholm a fortnight ago.

Of note are the returns from injury after an absence of several weeks of Ollie Thorley, who starts on the left wing, and Tom Marshall who is named amongst the replacements. Meanwhile, Matt Banahan will reach a significant milestone as he will make his 200th Premiership appearance.

The sterling work done by the Gloucester Rugby Academy is also reflected, with a number of current members and recent ‘graduates’ named in the matchday 23.

And, with a Gallagher Premiership semi-final on the horizon next weekend, there is every incentive for the team on duty at Sale to put in a performance and stake a claim for selection in the knock-out game at either Exeter or Saracens.

Head Coach Johan Ackermann acknowledged this week that the game at the AJ Bell Stadium, where Sale have a strong home record, will be a challenge but one that his team will embrace.

“There is more pressure on Sale to get a result than us, but we want to finish the season well. A positive result would help with the semi-final in mind, but we’re taking things week by week as we’ve done all season.

“Regardless of what happens on Saturday, we have to re-set on Monday and see who we’re playing in the semi-final. So, we’re not looking too far ahead, we’re just focusing on Sale.

“When you look at them, they’re a quality side with quality players all over the park. They can break the line in attack and, defensively, they’re a team with some good players over the ball who contest very well.

“When we last played them, we weren’t in a good place and had lost a few games on the bounce and had struggled a bit in Europe. They were one side that came here and beat us at home.

“That just shows you the challenge that lies ahead. They have a lot to play for, trying to get into the top six. They’re an all-round good team, they’re physical up front with good back row forwards and quality in the backs. It’s a challenge but an exciting challenge.”

Gloucester Rugby:

  1. Charlie Sharples; 14. Tom Seabrook, 13. Henry Purdy, 12. Matt Banahan, 11. Ollie Thorley; 10. Lloyd Evans, 9. Callum Braley; 1. Kyle Traynor, 2. Henry Walker, 3. Gareth Denman; 4. Tom Savage (capt), 5. Gerbrandt Grobler; 6. Jake Polledri, 7. Lewis Ludlow, 8. Gareth Evans


  1. Todd Gleave, 17. Alex Seville, 18. Paddy McAllister, 19. Alex Craig, 20. Aaron Hinkley, 21. Ben Vellacott, 22. Dom Coetzer, 23. Tom Marshall

Unavailable for selection:

Freddie Clarke, James Hanson, Tom Hudson, Ciaran Knight, Ed Slater, Henry Trinder, Owen Williams