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Gloucester make four changes for Friday night lights at Newcastle Falcons

Mark Atkinson

Gloucester Rugby have made four changes to their starting line-up for Friday evening’s important Aviva Premiership fixture away at Newcastle Falcons.

The Cherry and Whites travel north looking to make it three wins on the bounce, having defeated Bristol Rugby and Cardiff Blues in recent weeks.

After a tough European encounter against the Blues, and faced with a six day turnaround, Gloucester make one change to the back line and three changes to the pack.

Billy Burns is forced to sit this one out having left the field injured against Cardiff. Billy Twelvetrees who took over at fly-half on Saturday will continue to partner Willi Heinz at half-back. Mark Atkinson takes Twelvetrees’ place in midfield.

There are two changes to the front row where Motu Matu’u makes his first Aviva Premiership start of the season with Richard Hibbard moving to the replacements, while John Afoa replaces Josh Hohneck at tight-head.

The final change is in the second row where Mariano Galarza will partner Tom Savage instead of the injured Jeremy Thrush.

Amongst the replacements, Lloyd Evans, who started three of the club’s Anglo-Welsh fixtures this season, could make his first Aviva Premiership appearance of the season.

Directof of Rugby David Humphreys, previewing the game with the local media this week, admitted that Gloucester will need to keep on improving to come away from Kingston Park with something.

“Over the last couple of weeks, there have been large parts of our game that have been good, there are other parts that we still have to work on.

“Obviously, last weekend we were delighted to win the game comfortably in the end, but the scoreline in the end didn’t perhaps reflect the first 50 minutes. I thought, unlike on several occasions in the past 18 months, we closed out the game really well.

“But going to Newcastle, with the style of rugby they play, will be a different test for us. We’ve got to make sure that our discipline is much better this week. It’s something we’ve prided ourselves on throughout the course of the year but we’ve allowed too many penalties recently.

“But, two wins from the last two weeks is a big step forward. There’s a good vibe about the squad, a good buzz. Everyone’s excited about getting up to Newcastle, playing on a good pitch, in good weather hopefully, it should be a good game.

“The challenge for us is that we were good against Bristol, we were better against Cardiff. If we want to win again this weekend, we’ll have to be better again against Newcastle.”

Gloucester Rugby:

15. Tom Marshall; 14. Charlie Sharples, 13. Henry Trinder, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Jonny May; 10. Billy Twelvetrees, 9. Willi Heinz (capt); 1. Paddy McAllister, 2. Motu Matu’u, 3. John Afoa; 4. Tom Savage, 5. Mariano Galarza; 6. Ross Moriarty, 7. Jacob Rowan, 8. Ben Morgan

Replacements:

16. Richard Hibbard, 17. Yann Thomas, 18. Josh Hohneck, 19. Tom Denton, 20. Lewis Ludlow, 21. Callum Braley, 22. Lloyd Evans, 23. Henry Purdy

Unavailable for selection:

Joe Latta, Jeremy Thrush, Gareth Evans, Greig Laidlaw, Billy Burns, James Hook, Matt Scott, Andy Symons, David Halaifonua

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