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Match Preview – Gloucester Rugby v Bristol Bears

Match Preview – Gloucester Rugby v Bristol Bears
Round Three of the Gallagher Premiership is here, as the Cherry and Whites play host to the newly-promoted Bristol Bears at Kingsholm Stadium under the Friday Night Lights (KO 7:45pm)

The Cherry and Whites recovered late to grab a draw from The Rec last week, whilst the Bears went down to Saracens in Round Two, with a mouth-watering clash on the agenda this weekend – with West Country Derby bragging rights up for grabs.

Here are a number of players to watch this weekend.

Ruan Ackermann

After picking up a brace of tries last time out at The Rec, Ackermann moves to the number eight shirt on Friday evening, in what will be a fascinating back row battle between the two teams. A lot of focus will be on the breakdown, and Ackermann’s power will be key in helping the Cherry and White’s deliver front foot ball.

Jason Woodward

The flying full back spent half a season at Ashton Gate in their last spell in the top flight, and since his move to Kingsholm, he has shown his class in broken play with memorable tries. Under the Friday Night Lights, Gloucester Rugby will be keen to see him with ball in hand.

Ian Madigan

The Irish international is a dependable source of points for the Bears, and will be looking to get the platform to play close to the line to threaten the Gloucester defence. The former-Leinster man will look to marshal the Bears around the pitch at Kingsholm, and is a man to keep a very close eye on.

John Afoa

A man that will need little introduction on his return to Kingsholm this weekend, the front rower will be kept busy at scrum time, and Gloucester will need to keep a focus on his dynamic work around the park and ability to create touches of magic to unlock the defence.

Match Stats

Gloucester Rugby have made an unbeaten start to a new Gallagher Rugby campaign for the first time since 2016-17. Gloucester’s only defeat in their last four home games in all tournaments was to Bath in round 21 last season.

Bristol Bears six game winning run in all competitions ended at Saracens last weekend. The Bears have not won away from home in Premiership Rugby since beating Sale by a single point in Salford on New Year’s Day 2017.

Gloucester’s only defeat in their last seven fixtures with Bristol was 26-29 at Memorial Stadium in February 2008.

Last Time Out

Bath Rugby 31-31 Gloucester Rugby

Saracens 44-20 Bristol Bears

Last Three

27 Dec 08 – Bristol Rugby 10-29 Gloucester Rugby

3 Dec 16 – Gloucester Rugby 26-18 Bristol Rugby

24 Mar 17 – Bristol Rugby 32-14 Gloucester Rugby

Team News

Gloucester Rugby

15. Jason Woodward, 14. Charlie Sharples, 13. Henry Trinder, 12. Billy Twelvetrees, 11. Matt Banahan, 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Callum Braley 1. Val Rapava-Ruskin, 2. Franco Marais, 3. Fraser Balmain; 4. Ed Slater (c), 5. Gerbrandt Grobler, 6. Jake Polledri, 7. Lewis Ludlow, 8. Ruan Ackermann


16. James Hanson, 17. Josh Hohneck, 18. Ciaran Knight; 19. Freddie Clarke, 20. Ben Morgan; 21. Ben Vellacott, 22. Mark Atkinson, 23. Tom Hudson

Bristol Bears

15. Piers O’Conor, 14. Luke Morahan, 13. Siale Piatau, 12. Tusi Pisi, 11. Ryan Edwards, 10. Ian Madigan, 9. Harry Randall; 1. Yann Thomas, 2. Shaun Malton, 3. John Afoa; 4. Joe Joyce, 5. Chris Vui; 6. Steven Luatua (c), 7. George Smith, 8. Jack Lam


16.Harry Thacker, 17. Jake Woolmore, 18. Jake Armstrong; 19. Ed Holmes, 20. Nick Haining; 21. Nic Stirzaker, 22. Callum Sheedy, 23. Zane Kirchner

Match Officials

Referee: Tom Foley (54th Premiership game).

Assistant Referees: Wayne Falla & Adam Leal. TMO: Sean Davey

Citing Officer: Duncan Bell with Bruce Reece Russel

How To Follow

This Friday’s game is Live on BT Sport from 7:00pm, and there will be live commentary via BBC Radio Gloucestershire who will in place at Kingsholm Stadium.

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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Kingsholm Stadium
Gloucester Rugby
Sat 4 Jun
KO 15:00
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