TOP BAR - Fixtures

Gloucester Rugby name unchanged side for visit of Saracens

Gloucester Rugby will field the same starting line up that beat Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park last weekend as they welcome Saracens to Kingsholm on Friday evening (kick off 7:45pm) for the latest round of Aviva Premiership action.

In fact the only change to the matchday 23 from last Saturday's win in Devon is the return of Welsh international hooker Richard Hibbard amongst the replacements.

Darren Dawidiuk and Jonny May are both named to start which will mean that they are set to make their 100th competitive appearances for the club.

Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the media this week that last week's win was significant but that Gloucester need to back it up this weekend with an even better performance.

"That win was important for a number of reasons, but mainly because it came after two disappointments at home over the Christmas period. Perhaps, looking back, we were a bit lucky but there have been plenty of other games this season where we haven't had that luck.

"It was important from a morale point of view, and gets the New Year off to a winning start. With 10 games still to go it gives us a bit of enthusiasm and encouragement going into this next phase of games.

"There's been a bit of a buzz about training this week, but also a note of reality because Saracens are coming to Kingsholm and, over the course of the past few seasons, they've shown themselves to be one of the top teams. Our record against the top teams hasn't been great this season so it's a big opportunity.

"We've got to aim for a complete performance. We've had certain elements of our game go well in certain matches this season, and we'll need to be closer to that complete performance on Friday evening.”

Gloucester Rugby:
Charlie Sharples; David Halaifonua, Mark Atkinson, Billy Twelvetrees (capt), Jonny May; James Hook, Greig Laidlaw; Nick Wood, Darren Dawidiuk, John Afoa; Tom Savage, Tom Palmer; Sione Kalamafoni, Matt Kvesic, Ben Morgan

Replacements:
Richard Hibbard, Yann Thomas, Shaun Knight, Elliott Stooke, Gareth Evans, Dan Robson, Billy Burns, Bill Meakes 

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