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Gloucester Rugby make three changes for Newport Gwent Dragons clash

Gloucester Rugby make three changes for Newport Gwent Dragons clash

Gloucester make three changes to the pack and name an unchanged back line from the side that started against Leicester Tigers last weekend, with Newport Gwent Dragons the visitors to Kingsholm on Saturday in the quarter-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup.

Two of the changes are in the front row where Richard Hibbard and John Afoa return in place of Darren Dawidiuk and Paul Doran-Jones respectively. The other new face sees Sione Kalamafoni replace Gareth Evans in the back row.

A semi-final place against either Sale Sharks or Montpellier awaits the victors with Gloucester also seeking to retain the trophy that they lifted last May at the Stoop and become the first team to defend the trophy.

The teams haven't met in Cup competition since the LV= Cup quarter-final in March 2011 and, despite the visitors not having a great season in the Guinness Pro 12, David Humphreys insists that the Dragons have to be respected.

"You get one chance at knock-out rugby and we know how important this game is in the context of the season.

"We understand how desperate Dragons will be to win the game, and that they've been here before in that last season they got through to the semi-final of the competition. 

"Teams that reach the quarter-finals have earned the right to be there. They're going to be very competitive. They're similar to ourselves in many ways in that they've had a disappointing league campaign, and this gives them the chance to keep the season going a little bit.

"So, they'll be tough Cup opponents but our focus has been very much on ourselves. We've got to prepare well and make sure that we're ready to go on Saturday lunchtime.

"This weekend we have to give ourselves the best chance to win the game. We're going in with a clear game plan, with a clear idea of what we think we will need to do to beat the Dragons.”

Gloucester Rugby:

15. Tom Marshall; 14. Rob Cook, 13. Henry Trinder, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Steve McColl; 10. James Hook, 9. Greig Laidlaw (capt); 1. Paddy McAllister, 2. Richard Hibbard, 3. John Afoa; 4. Tom Savage, 5. Mariano Galarza; 6. Sione Kalamafoni, 7. Matt Kvesic, 8. Ben Morgan

Replacements:

16. Darren Dawidiuk, 17. Yann Thomas, 18. Paul Doran-Jones, 19. Elliott Stooke, 20. Gareth Evans, 21. Callum Braley, 22. Ollie Thorley, 23. Jacob Rowan

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