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Gloucester Rugby name team for Saturday’s derby match against Bath Rugby

Gloucester Rugby name team for Saturday’s derby match against Bath Rugby
Gloucester Rugby make half a dozen changes to their starting line-up, a number injury enforced, for Saturday’s Gallagher Premiership fixture at home to Bath Rugby (Kingsholm, kick-off 3pm).

It’s the first fixture of a new decade and the Cherry and Whites will be looking to get back to winning ways after last weekend’s narrow defeat away at Northampton Saints.

In the back line, Jason Woodward features for the first time since mid-November and will play at full-back with Tom Marshall moving to the right wing. Ollie Thorley also returns on the left wing and Billy Twelvetrees in midfield.

Up front, Fraser Balmain starts at tighthead with Jamal Ford-Robinson having picked up a knock in training this week. Ben Morgan is also sidelined with the injury picked up at Saints so it’s a new look back row with Freddie Clarke and Jake Polledri coming into the starting line-up alongside Ruan Ackermann.

Of note amongst the replacements is the inclusion of Owen Williams in the matchday 23 for the first time this season, having worked his way back to fitness following a knee injury.

Just one point separates the two teams in the league table, with Gloucester Rugby in third place and Bath Rugby two places behind. So, on top of what is always a much-awaited fixture, there is a lot at stake.

Head Coach Johan Ackermann confirmed as such this week:

“Every team poses a new challenge, every team has got a lot to play for. The current league table and past results don’t mean anything really, it all starts here.

“Both teams will look at each other and plan where they’re going to attack, where will they gain the ascendancy and exploit each other. I think it’s going to be a massive challenge because everything is so close.

“Bath is a big local derby. We acknowledge that and we appreciate the history. But when we put on the jersey, we have to be good for 80 minutes regardless of who we play. That’s what we stand for, we represent the club in every game we play.

“Bath have quality all over. They have World Cup winners and top internationals. We expect a challenge on all fronts. They just beat Sale and can beat any side on their day.”

Gloucester Rugby:

  1. Jason Woodward; 14. Tom Marshall, 13. Chris Harris, 12. Billy Twelvetrees, 11. Ollie Thorley; 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Willi Heinz (capt); 1. Josh Hohneck, 2. Franco Marais, 3. Fraser Balmain; 4. Alex Craig, 5. Franco Mostert; 6. Freddie Clarke, 7. Jake Polledri, 8. Ruan Ackermann


Replacements:

  1. Todd Gleave, 17. Alex Seville, 18. Ciaran Knight, 19. Gerbrandt Grobler, 20. Lewis Ludlow, 21. Joe Simpson, 22. Owen Williams, 23. Louis Rees-Zammit


Unavailable for selection:

Mark Atkinson, Ruan Dreyer, Jamal Ford-Robinson, Corné Fourie, James Hanson, Jaco Kriel, Ben Morgan, Val Rapava Ruskin, Charlie Sharples, Ed Slater, Henry Trinder
Next Home Match
Kingsholm Stadium
Gloucester Rugby
Sat 28 Nov
KO 15:00
Wasps
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