Following last weekend’s victory over Wasps, Gloucester Rugby are able to name an unchanged starting XV for Sunday’s Aviva Premiership clash at Saracens with Ben Morgan having returned from England training.
The 38-18 victory over Wasps moved the Cherry and Whites up to ninth place in the table, and keeps them within touching distance of the top six.
As such, the starting XV remains the same as last week with the only changes amongst the replacements where Paul Doran-Jones and Billy Twelvetrees return in place of Yann Thomas and Mat Protheroe respectively.
Director of Rugby David Humphreys, previewing the game with the local media this week, admitted that Sunday’s game at the league leaders will require Gloucester to up their game even more from the levels produced against Wasps.
“Last week was a big step up for us in terms of getting all parts of the game at a level that you need to win against one of the very good teams. As we’ve said, we haven’t felt we’ve been far away.
“As we explained last week, part of the break during the Anglo-Welsh Cup allowed us really to focus on two or three key things that we thought would make the difference between turning those narrow defeats into good victories.
“And I thought last weekend that our set-piece was good, we managed field position very well and, as we always do, we defended brilliantly. We’re a hard team to play against.
“But, as much as we enjoyed that Wasps victory, the focus very quickly turned to the challenge that Saracens will pose, undoubtedly the best team in Europe.”
15. James Hook; 14. Charlie Sharples, 13. Matt Scott, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Henry Purdy; 10. Billy Burns, 9. Willi Heinz (capt); 1. Paddy McAllister, 2. Richard Hibbard, 3. John Afoa; 4. Tom Savage, 5. Mariano Galarza; 6. Lewis Ludlow, 7. Jacob Rowan, 8. Ben Morgan
16. Motu Matu’u, 17. Josh Hohneck, 18. Paul Doran-Jones, 19. Joe Latta, 20. Matt Kvesic, 21. Callum Braley, 22. Billy Twelvetrees, 23. Ollie Thorley
Unavailable for selection:
Darren Dawidiuk, Tom Denton, Jeremy Thrush, Sione Kalamafoni, Ross Moriarty, Greig Laidlaw, Andy Symons, Henry Trinder, David Halaifonua, Jonny May, Tom Marshall,