TOP BAR - Fixtures

Greig Laidlaw returns to skipper Gloucester against Wasps

Greig Laidlaw returns to skipper Gloucester against Wasps

Gloucester Rugby make four changes to the starting line up that defeated Newcastle last weekend as they welcome Wasps to Kingsholm in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday. Greig Laidlaw returns from Scotland duty to captain the side.

Laidlaw comes in for Willi Heinz who was withdrawn from the Falcons game at half time a week ago with a tight calf. It is the only change to the back line.

In the pack, there are three changes as Gloucester continue their rotation policy of recent weeks. Tom Savage returns to partner Jeremy Thrush in the second row, while Sione Kalamafoni and Matt Kvesic come into the back row.

With eight points separating third place in the table from eighth, every game has significance at this stage of the season and Head Coach Laurie Fisher knows that Gloucester have a fight on their hands this weekend against an in-form Wasps side.

"Wasps have been in great form. They've obviously been outstanding in Europe, had an enormous win against Saracens away from home and another quality performance against Harlequins. They're flying high and will be enormously challenging."

However, Fisher stresses that Gloucester will be focusing on what they do best rather than trying to change things up for the visit of Dai Young's side.

"We won't be changing what we're trying to do dramatically for the opposition, we'll be trying to play our game. But we've got to find some space on the field, we've got to muscle up on some carries, we've got to get some tempo in our game. But balance and pragmatism will win out still."

And the Head Coach admits that the home factor could be significant.

"Kingsholm's a great venue for us and we get wonderful support and tremendous inspiration at that venue. It's always handy when you're playing at home and that gives us our best chance of playing our best. We really want to put in a performance.

"We're trying to build that resilience and real pride at performing at home. So, I think you'll see us putting our best foot forward on Saturday."

Gloucester Rugby:

15. Rob Cook; 14. Charlie Sharples, 13. Bill Meakes, 12. Billy Twelvetrees, 11. Henry Purdy; 10. James Hook, 9. Greig Laidlaw (capt); 1. Paddy McAllister, 2. Richard Hibbard, 3. John Afoa; 4. Tom Savage, 5. Jeremy Thrush; 6. Sione Kalamafoni, 7. Matt Kvesic, 8. Ross Moriarty

Replacements:

16. Darren Dawidiuk, 17. Yann Thomas, 18. Paul Doran-Jones, 19. Mariano Galarza, 20. Lewis Ludlow, 21. Callum Braley, 22. Billy Burns, 23. Henry Trinder
 

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