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Match Preview – Gloucester Rugby v Exeter Chiefs

Match Preview – Gloucester Rugby v Exeter Chiefs
The Cherry and Whites return to domestic action and the Gallagher Premiership with a crucial Round Thirteen meeting with league leaders Exeter Chiefs, under the Friday Night Lights (KO 7.45pm)

After a tough run of results, the return to league rugby is a needed one for the Cherry and Whites who meet the Chiefs for the fourth time this season after a pulsating Heineken Champions Cup double header before the turn of the new year.

Here are some players to keep an eye on this weekend.

Ruan Ackermann

The flanker returns from injury this weekend into the back row, and will be looking to spark front foot ball in a fascinating forward battle on Friday evening. The South African wont stop running and will look for shoulders to run past and get the hosts over the gain line.

Santiago Cordero

The fleet-footed winger starred at Kingsholm for Argentina during Rugby World Cup 2015, and in Chiefs’ colours he has been equally as dangerous. The Puma stars slaloming runs, and low centre of gravity keeps defenders on their toes and the Cherry and Whites will be keen to shackle the winger.

Last Time Out

Bath Rugby 52-0 Gloucester Rugby

Bristol Bears 10-12 Exeter Chiefs

Match Facts

Gloucester Rugby’s only two victories in the last five rounds of Gallagher Premiership Rugby were at home to Worcester and away at Newcastle in December. Gloucester have lost their last three home games in all tournaments, against Exeter and Munster in the Champions Cup and Sale in Premiership Rugby.

Exeter Chiefs only two defeats in Gallagher Premiership Rugby this season have come in the last four rounds, away at Harlequins and Northampton. The Chiefs have not lost three in succession on their travels in Premiership Rugby since April 2016.

The two sides have already met on three occasions this season with Gloucester’s solitary victory being 27-19 at Sandy Park in round 3 of the European Champions Cup. The Chiefs have won on their last two visits to Kingsholm, beating Bath there in the final of last year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup and overcoming Gloucester 29-17 in the Champions Cup in December.

Historically Exeter have had the best of the fixture with nine wins to Gloucester’s seven, with one draw.

They also have the advantage in tries, with 39 to the Cherry and Whites’ 32, and points with 419 to 346.

The last five matches have also been in favour of the Devon side, with three wins compared to Gloucester’s two.

They have 50 tries so far this season, more than any other club, which have helped them to nine try-bonus points – as they have built a difference between them and Saracens in the table.

Gloucester have not been left to struggle with players on international duty, so expect to winger Ollie Thorley to feature at Kingsholm.

He has made spectacular tries his trademark with four tries so far this year – including doubles against Leicester and Worcester.

Thorley, who had his first call up for England prior to the Six Nations, has 419 metres made on 44 carries this season, including 11 clean breaks and 23 defenders beaten.

Stalwart No.8 Ben Morgan has also been in good form for the Cherry & Whites in Gallagher Premiership Rugby, featuring in every game so far.

He has 119 tackles and seven turnovers won as well as 142 carries for 326 metres.

Team News

Gloucester Rugby

15. Jason Woodward, 14. Tom Marshall, 13. Billy Twelvetrees, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Ollie Thorley, 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Willi Heinz; 1. Josh Hohneck, 2. Franco Marais, 3. Fraser Balmain; 4. Tom Savage, 5. Franco Mostert; 6. Freddie Clarke, 7. Ruan Ackermann, 8. Ben Morgan

Replacements

16. James Hanson, 17. Paddy McAllister, 18. Ciaran Knight; 19. Gerbrandt Grobler, 20. Lewis Ludlow; 21. Callum Braley, 22. Owen Williams, 23. Matt Banahan

Exeter Chiefs

15. Phil Dollman, 14. Santiago Cordero, 13. Ian Whitten, 12. Sam Hill, 11. Tom O'Flaherty, 10. Joe Simmonds, 9. Nic White; 1. Alec Hepburn, 2. Jack Yeandle, 3. Tomas Francis; 4. Dave Dennis, 5. Jonny Hill; 6. Dave Ewers, 7. Sean Lonsdale, 8. Matt Kvesic

Replacements

16. Elvis Taione, 17. Billy Keast, 18. Greg Holmes; 19. Mitch Lees, 20. Richard Capstick; 21. Jack Maunder, 22. Gareth Steenson, 23. Tom Hendrickson

Match Officials

Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys

Assistant Referees: Adam Leal & Steve Lee

TMO: Trevor Fisher

Citing Commissioner: Duncan Bell

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 The Rec.

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

Enjoy the game!
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Kingsholm Stadium
Gloucester Rugby
Sat 28 Nov
KO 15:00
Wasps
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