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Latta to make first Premiership start for Gloucester at Sale

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Second row Joe Latta will make his full Aviva Premiership debut for Gloucester Rugby in Friday night’s game against the Sale Sharks at the AJ Bell Stadium.

Latta’s selection is one of three changes, two injury-enforced, that Gloucester make to the side that started the 23-23 draw at Worcester last Friday.

The New Zealander comes in for Mariano Galarza in the second row, while Lewis Ludlow replaces Ross Moriarty at blindside flanker. The one change in the back line sees Mark Atkinson start in place of Billy Twelvetrees.

The Cherry and Whites were the only team to win at the AJ Bell Stadium last season, a notoriously tough venue to visit, in round 21 of the Aviva Premiership and will be hoping to repeat the feat.

Speaking to media this week to preview the game, Defence Coach Jonny Bell acknowledged that win was a morale-booster but added it will be a motivator for Sale as well.

“That’s fresh in our minds and it’ll be fresh in their minds as well. We’re going up there with the intention of getting a win and we firmly believe we can.

“I know Steve Diamond and I know that Sale will be thinking that they have a revenge mission here. We know what a good side they are, they had a good result against Harlequins.

“They’re a big tough, strong mauling side. They’ve got good carriers in the back row and in the backs and also have fast feet in the wider channels. With or without the ball, if we’re not accurate then we’ll pay.

“But we’re fully confident that, if we do things well and look after the processes, we can go and get a result.”

Gloucester Rugby:

15. Tom Marshall; 14. Charlie Sharples, 13. Matt Scott, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Henry Purdy; 10. Billy Burns, 9. Greig Laidlaw (capt); 1. Yann Thomas, 2. Richard Hibbard, 3. John Afoa; 4. Tom Savage, 5. Joe Latta; 6. Lewis Ludlow, 7. Matt Kvesic, 8. Ben Morgan

Replacements:

16. Darren Dawidiuk, 17. Cameron Orr, 18. Paul Doran-Jones, 19. Gareth Evans, 20. Jacob Rowan, 21. Willi Heinz, 22. James Hook, 23. Billy Twelvetrees

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