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Gloucester Rugby name side for visit of Newcastle Falcons

Gloucester Rugby make seven changes to their starting line up for Saturday’s Aviva Premiership clash with Newcastle Falcons at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 3pm). Winger Henry Purdy is one of the new faces as he returns from injury.

Purdy returns on the left wing in place of Steve McColl in one of four changes to the back line as the Cherry and Whites look to bounce back after last week's loss at Saracens.

Also returning to the starting line up are Rob Cook, Willi Heinz and Bill Meakes, with skipper Billy Twelvetrees moving back to his usual inside centre berth.

There are three changes to the pack. Paddy McAllister replaces Nick Wood at loose head prop. Wood misses out having left the field injured at Allianz Park.

And there's a new look back row. Ben Morgan is still carrying a knock while Matt Kvesic has been away training with England, so Ross Moriarty will team up with Jacob Rowan and Lewis Ludlow. Kvesic is named amongst the replacements.

The defeat at Saracens followed three excellent performances and Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for a reaction from his side this weekend.

"We were obviously very pleased with the previous three weeks when we performed well. We didn't quite get the result we wanted against Leicester but played very well and were very positive against Bath and Harlequins.

"We all admit that last week was very disappointing, that we didn't perform against the champions. So, the message has been very clear, there wasn't a huge amount wrong, but what was wrong has to be fixed. And that frustration and anger from last week has to be reflected in the performance this weekend."

After a difficult start to the season, Newcastle have turned a corner in recent weeks and Humphreys is expecting a real challenge.

"Anybody who has watched them will be pretty impressed with their style of rugby, the way they're trying to play, the ambition they're showing. They've a good team and, in Dean and John Wells, they're well coached.

"So, it's going to be a test for us but our focus every week has been about us and making sure we're well prepared. Newcastle will pose something different to Saracens last weekend but we're ready for it."

Gloucester Rugby:

15. Rob Cook; 14. Charlie Sharples, 13. Bill Meakes, 12. Billy Twelvetrees (capt), 11. Henry Purdy; 10. James Hook, 9. Willi Heinz; 1. Paddy McAllister, 2. Richard Hibbard, 3. John Afoa; 4. Jeremy Thrush, 5. Mariano Galarza; 6. Ross Moriarty, 7. Jacob Rowan, 8. Lewis Ludlow

Replacements:

16. Darren Dawidiuk, 17. Yann Thomas, 18. Paul Doran-Jones, 19. Tom Savage, 20. Matt Kvesic, 21. Callum Braley, 22. Billy Burns, 23. Henry Trinder
 

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