After a two week break from fixtures, Gloucester Rugby have named their matchday squad for the upcoming game against Northampton Saints this Saturday.
Willi Heinz makes his first appearance of the season, starting at scrum-half after recovering from injury, with Santiago Carreras making his first start for the Cherry and Whites on the wing after an impressive debut from the bench last time out against Newcastle.
Head Coach George Skivington has made seven changes to the starting line-up from last round with five players being called up for the Six Nations and a number of individuals returning from injury.
Joining Carreras in the back three is Ollie Thorley and Jason Woodward, who is also back in action for the first time since the Cherry and Whites’ Round 2 win over Wasps.
Billy Twelvetrees and Mark Atkinson link up in the midfield, with Lloyd Evans keeping the fly-half shirt.
In the forwards, Skivington has selected the tried and tested back-row of Jordy Reid, Ruan Ackermann and Lewis Ludlow, who resumes the captaincy.
Val Rapava-Ruskin, Henry Walker and Fraser Balmain make up the front row with Matt Garvey and Matias Alemanno behind them in the second row.
The Head Coach knows that Northampton will provide a stern test for his side.
“Every game in the Premiership is a hard game so it doesn’t really matter where someone’s sitting in the table, it’s a tough game no matter what," Skivington said. "From that point of view we prepare for every team the same, do as much homework as we can and get our game on point and then try and turn up on the Saturday.
“Saints haven’t had a game in a little while but they’re a good team. They’ve got some really good players and they play good attacking and expansive rugby. They got a couple of tries through their set piece against Worcester as well. Just like everyone else in the Premiership, they’re a serious threat.
“There’s no underestimating them from our point of view.”
15. Jason Woodward
14. Santiago Carreras
13. Billy Twelvetrees
12. Mark Atkinson
11. Ollie Thorley *
10. Lloyd Evans *
9. Willi Heinz
1. Val Rapava-Ruskin
2. Henry Walker*
3. Fraser Balmain
4. Matt Garvey
5. Matias Alemanno
6. Jordy Reid
7. Lewis Ludlow (c) *
8. Ruan Ackermann
16. Todd Gleave
17. Jamal Ford-Robinson
18. Ciaran Knight *
19. Alex Craig *
20. Jamie Gibson
21. Charlie Chapman *
22. Tom Seabrook *
23. Kyle Moyle
*Denotes Academy player or graduate from the Gloucester Rugby Academy