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Match Preview – Bristol Bears v Gloucester Rugby

Match Preview – Bristol Bears v Gloucester Rugby
The Premiership Rugby Cup continues this weekend, with the Cherry and Whites making the short journey to Ashton Gate to take on the Bristol Bears under the Friday Night Lights (KO 7:45pm)

After a bonus point win in tricky conditions last time out against Wasps, the Cherry and Whites will be seeking a second win on the bounce against their local rivals in what is sure to be a great Friday night atmosphere at Ashton Gate.

Here are a number of players to watch this weekend.

Ollie Thorley

The all-action winger returns to the fold this Friday for his first appearance of the season after a pre-season knock. In an exciting back line, the Academy-product will be hoping to benefit in the wide open spaces at Ashton Gate.

Dan Thomas

A man that needs no introduction to the Cherry and Whites, after his move to the Bears two seasons ago. A threat on the deck, and a back rower with a relentless engine, he will be a man to watch as he is reunited with former team mates – one of several former Gloucester Rugby players in the Bristol ranks.

Form Guide

After beginning their return to the top flight with a stunning victory against Bath Rugby, the form of Bristol Bears has been a lot more hit-and-miss in recent weeks.

They have won two of their last eight games in all competitions, including a second Gallagher Premiership Rugby triumph against Harlequins in September.

October started with a comprehensive defeat to Worcester Warriors, before the Bears and Zebre traded victories in their European Challenge Cup double-header.

Gloucester Rugby have won three of their last four games in all competitions, including a memorable victory against Castres Olympique in the Champions Cup.

Last Time Out

Gloucester Rugby 31-7 Wasps Rugby

Northampton Saints 51-24 Bristol Bears

Head To Head

The Cherry and Whites have had Bristol’s number over the last decade, winning the last five times the two sides have met – including a 35-13 triumph earlier this season.

Bristol’s last win against their rivals game in 2008 when Jason Strange kicked 19 points to help his side to a 29-26 win as they denied Gloucester a 10th league victory of the campaign.

James Simpson-Daniel, Jack Adams and Anthony Allen all touched down for Gloucester as they established a 17-9 lead, but Bristol came from behind to prevail with a Strange drop-goal.

One thing that can always be guaranteed from their meetings is plenty of tries, with Gloucester claiming a try bonus-point in their last five games against Bristol.

Team News

Bristol Bears

15. Luke Morahan, 14. Tom Pincus, 13. Piers O’Conor, 12. Sam Bedlow, 11. Ryan Edwards, 10. Callum Sheedy (c), 9. Andy Uren; 1. Jack Cosgrove, 2. Tom Lindsay, 3. Nicky Thomas; 4. John Hawkins, 5. Sam Jeffries; 6. James Dun, 7. Dan Thomas, 8. Nick Haining

Replacements

16. Shaun Malton, 17. Jake Woolmore, 18. Lewis Thiede; 19. Aly Muldowney, 20. Jake Heenan; 21. Harry Randall, 22. Tiff Eden, 23. Charles Piutau

Gloucester Rugby

15. Tom Hudson, 14. Ollie Thorley, 13. Henry Trinder, 12. Tom Seabrook, 11. Henry Purdy, 10. Owen Williams, 9. Ben Vellacott (c); 1. Kyle Traynor, 2. Joe Mullis, 3. Ciaran Knight; 4. Alex Craig; 5. Gerbrandt Grobler; 6. Cameron Terry, 7. Aaron Hinkley, 8. Gareth Evans

Replacements

16. Todd Gleave, 17. Olly Adkins, 18. Gareth Denman; 19. Callum Allen, 20. Jaco Kriel, 21. Charlie Chapman, 22. Dom Coetzer, 23. Jack Reeves

Match Officials

Referee: Adam Leal

Assistant Referees: Clare Daniels and Philip Watters

How To Follow

This Friday’s game is LIVE on BT Sport, and there will be live commentary via BBC Radio Gloucestershire who will in place at Ashton Gate.

Follow all of the club channels for live updates on the matchday live blog, Twitter and behind the scenes on Instagram.

Enjoy the game!
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