Fixtures - Top Bar

Cook returns as Gloucester round off Premiership campaign at Bath

Rob Cook is named in the Gloucester Rugby starting line-up for the first time since mid-November as the Cherry and Whites finish their Aviva Premiership season with a trip to local rivals Bath Rugby.

Cook's availability is a welcome boost as Gloucester ring the changes following an unrelenting fixture list in recent weeks, which has seen the club battle through three tough games to lift the European Rugby Challenge Cup, and face the prospect of two possible play-off games for the 20th and final spot in next season's Champions Cup.

Nick Wood will skipper the side which features just three of the team who started last weekend's 35-13 victory over London Irish at Kingsholm. Tom Hicks, Lewis Ludlow and Aled Thomas will make their first Premiership starts.

There are eight Academy players in the matchday 23 with two of them, Lloyd Evans and Sam Underhill, also set for Premiership bows if they come off the bench.

Discussing the game with the local media, Director of Rugby David Humphreys admitted that team selection for this weekend has been a balancing act.

"It's been a difficult week. We obviously have the suspensions but also a number of players out injured as well. It's a case of trying to get the best team that we can available for this weekend, bearing in mind the importance of the two potential games that are coming up with the play-offs.

"Every game is important. We've said all along that we will fight right up until the end of the league. But we also have to understand that we're going into two possible play-off games which will have a huge impact upon next season.

"The derby will always have a bit of an edge to it and, whoever wears the Gloucester shirt this weekend, will go out 100% committed to producing a big performance and making sure we continue to build upon the hard work that has been going on over the course of the last few months.

"This week we're going to one of the top two teams in England whose form has been very consistent. So, for us it's a challenge, and we need to go down there well prepared for what we're going to face and produce as good a performance as we can."

Gloucester Rugby:
Rob Cook; Steph Reynolds, Henry Purdy, Brendan Macken, Steve McColl; Aled Thomas, Callum Braley; Nick Wood (capt), Aleki Lutui, Shaun Knight; Tom Hicks, James Hudson; Elliott Stooke, Dan Thomas, Lewis Ludlow

Replacements:
Darren Dawidiuk, James Gibbons, Yann Thomas, Sam Underhill, Jacob Rowan, Dan Robson, Lloyd Evans, Mark Atkinson

Unavailable for selection:
Matt Kvesic, Bill Meakes, Ross Moriarty (all suspended)
John Afoa, Joe Batley, Billy Burns, Gareth Evans, Mariano Galarza, David Halaifonua, Sione Kalamafoni, Shane Monahan, Ben Morgan, Dan Murphy, Tom Palmer, Sila Puafisi, Henry Trinder (all injured)
 

Latest News

Northampton Saints’ Brookes prepared for sold-out East Midlands derby

Franklin’s Gardens will be sold out for the East Midlands derby between Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers and Kieran Brookes…

Impending fatherhood won’t distract centurion Francois Louw at Bath Rugby

It’s a big week for Bath Rugby’s François Louw, who will be making his 100th appearance for the side on…

AUDIO: Preview of this weekend’s Aviva Premiership action

After another 6 Nations has come and gone, the Aviva Premiership returns this weekend for the 18th round of games.…

Wasps team to play Worcester Warriors at the Ricoh Arena

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his side to face Worcester Warriors this Sunday at the Ricoh Arena, kick…

Dan Robson

Bath Rugby’s Louw to make 100th appearance against Saracens

Francois Louw will make his 100th appearance for Bath Rugby against Saracens at Allianz Park on Sunday, kick-off 15:00. The…

Francois Louw

Exeter Chiefs side to face Sale Sharks

Ali Hepher believes Exeter Chiefs still have areas to work on as their Aviva Premiership season heads towards the final…

Ben Moon

Leicester Tigers team news for return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action

Six Nations champions Ben Youngs and Dan Cole return to the Leicester Tigers team for Saturday's Aviva Premiership derby against…

Ben Youngs

Sale Sharks Team News to face Exeter Chiefs

Sale Sharks have named their side to take on Exeter Chiefs on Saturday at Sandy Park in the Aviva Premiership…

Andrei Ostrikov

Saracens name side to face Bath Rugby

Saracens have named their side to face Bath for Sunday’s round 18 Aviva Premiership clash at Allianz Park, kick-off 15h00.…

Alex Goode

Northampton Saints team news for Leicester Tigers clash

The Northampton Saints team has been announced for Saturday’s Aviva Premiership derby against Leicester. With five rounds to play both…

Dylan Hartley

Worcester Warriors unchanged for West Midlands derby

Warriors name an unchanged starting 15 as they return to Aviva Premiership action against Wasps in the West Midlands derby…

Josh Adams

Sonatane Takulua and Newcastle Falcons set sights on double over Harlequins

Sonatane Takulua is hoping history repeats itself as Newcastle Falcons eye up an Aviva Premiership Rugby double over Harlequins. This…

13 return for Harlequins ahead of Newcastle Falcons

Harlequins has named the squad to play Newcastle Falcons in Round 18 of the Aviva Premiership at The Stoop on…

Dave Ward

Newcastle Falcons team to face Harlequins

Mark Wilson moves forward to the second row as Newcastle Falcons shuffle their pack for Saturday’s Aviva Premiership trip to…

Mark Wilson

Semesa Rokoduguni not underestimating importance of Saracens test for Bath Rugby

Following a two-week break, the Aviva Premiership Rugby springs back into action this weekend, bringing with it a key run…

Round 18 Preview: Saracens v Bath Rugby

Jack Nowell relishing Exeter Chiefs return

Cornishman Jack Nowell says he cannot wait to pull on an Exeter Chiefs jersey again as he gears up for…

Jack Nowell

Mark Jennings Signs New Two Year Deal

Sale Sharks are delighted to announce that centre Mark Jennings has signed a new two year deal with the club.…

Mark Jennings

Team News: Bristol Rugby vs Gloucester Rugby

Sam Jeffries is set for his first Aviva Premiership start when Bristol host Gloucester in the West Country derby on…

Billy Searle

Gloucester Rugby name side for West Country derby at Bristol

Henry Trinder will make his first start in the Aviva Premiership this season as Gloucester make seven changes to their…

Henry Trinder