TOP BAR - Fixtures

Laidlaw and Morgan return for Gloucester for trip to Exeter

Laidlaw and Morgan return for Gloucester for trip to Exeter

Gloucester Rugby make just two changes for Saturday’s Aviva Premiership clash at Exeter Chiefs, Greig Laidlaw and Ben Morgan returning to the starting line up.

Those two changes apart, it's the same starting line-up that began the game against London Irish last weekend. Laidlaw will resume the captaincy and Morgan will wear his usual number eight shirt.

Games between these two sides have traditionally been close, hard-fought encounters with typically not more than one score between the two sides. Three of the four meetings last season were decided by a combined points total of four points.

The Chiefs are currently in second place in the Aviva Premiership table and are probably enjoying their best ever season in the top flight. As a result, Director of Rugby David Humphreys is in no doubt as to the size of the challenge at Sandy Park.

"Over the course of the past few weeks, we've performed well. We've played 12 games this season, won eight, drawn one and lost three. That's a pretty good record and we'd have taken that at the start of the season.

"But we're well aware of the challenges that now lie ahead. We're going down to a very good Exeter team, one of the in form teams in Europe and the Premiership. They're competing well in both competitions and it's going to be a huge test for us.

"We played them a number of times last season in different competitions, and the one consistent factor was how close the games have been with the possible exception of the European semi-final.

Both teams have an ambition to play, they've started the season well and play a great brand of rugby. They've been building for a number of years and Rob (Baxter) has got them very well organised, they all know their roles.

"It's going to be a big test but, coming on the back of a good run for us, it's one that we're very much looking forward to."

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. Nick Wood, 2. Richard Hibbard, 3. Nicky Thomas; 4. Tom Savage, 5. Jeremy Thrush; 6. Sione Kalamafoni, 7. Matt Kvesic, 8. Ben Morgan

Replacements:

16. Tom Lindsay, 17. Dan Murphy, 18. Paddy McAllister, 19. Mariano Galarza, 20. Ross Moriarty, 21. Willi Heinz, 22. Billy Burns, 23. Mark Atkinson
 

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