Henry Walker will make his full debut for Gloucester and Gareth Evans gets his first start of the season as the Cherry and Whites make five changes to their starting line-up for Saturday’s Anglo-Welsh Cup fixture at Northampton Saints.
Walker impressed as a replacement in last Saturday’s 36-32 victory over Saracens in the same competition in a team that included eight full debuts. He now comes into the starting line-up in place of Joe Mullis.
Last week’s try scoring hero David Halaifonua is on international duty with Tonga, so the backs are reshuffled with Mat Protheroe moving to the wing from full-back, Lloyd Evans wearing 15 instead of 10 and Billy Burns coming in at fly-half.
In the pack, Yann Thomas replaces Cameron Orr at loose-head, Joe Latta comes in for Charlie Beckett in the second row and Gareth Evans replaces Freddie Clarke in the back row, Lewis Ludlow moving to the blindside flank and skippering the side once again.
Meanwhile, amongst the replacements, new signing Josh Hohneck could be set for his first appearance in Cherry and White.
Backs Coach Tim Taylor is taking the coaching reins this weekend and told the local media that he’s looking for the team to build on last weekend’s excellent second-half performance.
“I think the boys just lacked a little bit of intensity first half, which they certainly backed up after half-time. They came out, the intensity went up, they controlled the ball and field position better.
“It was great to see those young boys step up in front of a Kingsholm crowd and get a win in front of a strong side at home.”
And looking ahead to Northampton.
“We’ve had a really good week. Again, we’ve got a good mix of youth and experience. The boys have applied themselves really well, especially the young lads, we’ve had a few 18-year-olds stepping up.
“They (Northampton) went up to Newcastle last week and got a win. They had a few experienced lads in there like Luther Burrell. They’re a strong side with a good set-piece. It’s always tough going to Franklin’s Gardens but the boys are relishing the opportunity and really looking forward to it.”
15. Lloyd Evans; 14. Mat Protheroe, 13. Henry Purdy, 12. Elliott Creed, 11. Ollie Thorley; 10. Billy Burns, 9. Callum Braley; 1. Yann Thomas, 2. Henry Walker, 3. Salesi Ma’afu; 4. Joe Batley, 5. Joe Latta; 6. Lewis Ludlow (capt), 7. Dan Thomas, 8. Gareth Evans
16. Joe Mullis, 17. Josh Hohneck, 18. Ciaran Knight, 19. Charlie Beckett, 20. Freddie Clarke, 21. Ben Vellacott, 22. Tom Hudson, 23. Will Safe