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Two changes for Gloucester Rugby for Heineken Champions Cup clash with Munster

Two changes for Gloucester Rugby for Heineken Champions Cup clash with Munster
Gloucester Rugby make two changes to their starting line-up, one in the backs and one in the pack, as they travel to take on Munster Rugby in round two of Saturday’s Heineken Champions Cup.

Matt Banahan replaces Charlie Sharples on the wing while Ed Slater comes in for Gerbrandt Grobler in the second row and will skipper the side. Those changes apart, the starting line-up is the one that took the field against Castres Olympique last Sunday,

Grobler moves in to the replacements to accommodate Slater’s return and Gareth Evans, who was registered for European action this week, will provide the back-row cover on the bench.

Previewing the game this week, Head Coach Johan Ackermann admitted that the performance of both teams last weekend was affected by the weather making analysis difficult, but that his team will be up for the challenge at Thomond Park.

“I think the guys can take a lot of confidence from the fact that, despite the wet conditions, we still played decently. We did miss some scoring opportunities but, if the weather is poor in Munster, that was a good test for us.

“Munster had a dry day down at Exeter but a very strong wind which can be worse to play in. So, it’s difficult to read too much tactically into that game. The one thing they did show is that they can keep hold of the ball, going beyond 25 phases at times, and they are a resilient side.

“To go down to Exeter and keep them at bay shows that they are very strong defensively and it’s going to be a massive challenge.

“They’ve been very successful in the past in this competition but, on the pitch, we control our own destiny. We have to go out there and give it everything and see where it goes.”

Gloucester Rugby:

  1. Jason Woodward; 14. Matt Banahan, 13. Billy Twelvetrees, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Tom Marshall; 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Callum Braley; 1. Josh Hohneck, 2. Franco Marais, 3. Fraser Balmain; 4. Tom Savage, 5. Ed Slater (capt); 6. Freddie Clarke, 7. Jake Polledri, 8. Ben Morgan


  1. Henry Walker, 17. Val Rapava Ruskin, 18. Ciaran Knight, 19. Gerbrandt Grobler, 20. Gareth Evans, 21. Ben Vellacott, 22. Owen Williams, 23. Tom Hudson

Unavailable for selection:

Ruan Ackermann, Gareth Denman, Ruan Dreyer, James Hanson, Willi Heinz, Jaco Kriel, Lewis Ludlow, Paddy McAllister, Will Safe, Charlie Sharples, Henry Trinder
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Kingsholm Stadium
Gloucester Rugby
Fri 2 Sep
KO 19:45
Cardiff Blues
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