TOP BAR - Fixtures

Gloucester Rugby name side for local derby against Bath

Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).

The international trio were rested for the 32-16 win over Zebre in Europe last weekend but return to take on Bath.

Tongan international Halaifonua has been training with the team for the past couple of weeks but, not currently registered for Europe, is named in the matchday 23 for the first time.

Elsewhere, the starting line-up has a settled look about it although Gareth Evans and Ben Morgan miss out due to injury.

Director of Rugby David Humphreys, speaking to the local media this week, admitted that he's looking forward to his first experience of Gloucester-Bath derby action.

"Since I've arrived nearly every Gloucester supporter I've met, the one game they've talked about is Bath. So, I'm looking forward to it, I'm excited to see Kingsholm in full voice, it's fully sold out. It's going to be a good occasion.

"But we have spoken about it this week as being just another game, it's game 10 of 22 across the course of the season. In this league, every game is important and it's a big run for us coming into the Christmas period.

"We've got a little bit of momentum, based on the last three games we've actually played quite well. We showed a lot of character against London Irish to grind out the win, and did well for 60 minutes out in Italy.

"But Bath's going to be a huge test. They've been outstanding this season, sitting second in the table so, for us, it's another chance for us to measure ourselves against one of the top teams in the country.”

Gloucester Rugby:

Steve McColl; Charlie Sharples, Henry Purdy, Billy Twelvetrees (capt), Jonny May; James Hook, Greig Laidlaw; Yann Thomas, Richard Hibbard, John Afoa; Tom Savage, Tom Palmer; Sione Kalamafoni, Matt Kvesic, Ross Moriarty

Replacements:
Darren Dawidiuk, Nick Wood, Sila Puafisi, James Hudson, Elliott Stooke, Dan Robson, Mark Atkinson, David Halaifonua
 

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