Fixtures - Top Bar

Motu Matu’u to make first Gloucester Rugby start against Benetton Treviso

Greig Laidlaw returns for Gloucester. Pic: Getty

Summer signing Motu Matu’u will make his full Gloucester debut after two replacement appearances when he starts against Benetton Treviso in the European Rugby Challenge Cup at Kingsholm on Saturday.

Having arrived with an arm injury suffered while representing Samoa, Matu’u has worked his way back to fitness before featuring as a replacement away at Exeter and Bayonne. Saturday will be his full debut and his first appearance at Kingsholm.

Gloucester make eight changes to the side that triumphed 47-27 in the opening round of the tournament in Bayonne last Saturday.

There are three changes in the backline. Charlie Sharples returns on the right wing having appeared as a replacement last weekend. And there is a new half-back pairing in Billy Burns and Greig Laidlaw, the latter also skippering the side once again.

Paddy McAllister, Matu’u and John Afoa make up a completely new front row and Matt Kvesic and Ross Moriarty return in the back row, with only Lewis Ludlow retained from the trio that started in France.

New signing Salesi Ma’afu is named amongst the replacements and there is a first appearance in a first team matchday squad for the Academy’s Freddie Clarke.

Defence Coach Jonny Bell told the local media that last week’s win in Bayonne was a welcome one but that Gloucester now have to back it up against Treviso at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 3pm).

“We were delighted to get the win, it’s something we were craving. It’s never easy to go and play in France and to come away with a pretty comprehensive win is great and boosts morale.

“There are obviously things we have to work on and we’re going to be tested this weekend against Treviso, who are very physical and who are going to come at us up front. We have to make sure we have all aspects of our game in place, with and without the ball.

“We just want a really strong, professional performance. We’ve got a duty to deliver for our fans at home. And for our own intrinsic motivation, we have to make sure that we deliver this weekend and get that victory.

“We must take each game as it comes and not look too far ahead. Moving from a good performance against Bayonne, making improvements and putting in a strong performance against Treviso will set us well going back into the Aviva Premiership.”

Gloucester Rugby: 15. James Hook; 14. Charlie Sharples, 13. Matt Scott, 12. Billy Twelvetrees, 11. Jonny May; 10. Billy Burns, 9. Greig Laidlaw (capt); 1. Paddy McAllister, 2. Motu Matu’u, 3. John Afoa; 4. Tom Savage, 5. Joe Latta; 6. Ross Moriarty, 7. Matt Kvesic, 8. Lewis Ludlow

Replacements: 16. Richard Hibbard, 17. Cameron Orr, 18. Salesi Ma’afu, 19. Freddie Clarke, 20. Jacob Rowan, 21. Callum Braley, 22. Mark Atkinson, 23. Ollie Thorley

Unavailable for selection: Josh Hohneck, Darren Dawidiuk, Tom Lindsay, Paul Doran-Jones, Jeremy Thrush, Tom Denton, Gareth Evans, Sione Kalamafoni, Willi Heinz, Andy Symons, Henry Trinder, Tom Marshall

Latest News

Rowe hails ‘fantastic’ year for Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Rugby Club chairman and chief executive, Tony Rowe OBE, heralded a “fantastic” past year – on and off the…

Exeter Chiefs celebrate

Dan Tuohy joins Bristol Rugby with immediate effect

Dan Tuohy has penned a deal with Bristol Rugby to make the switch to Aviva Premiership Rugby with immediate effect.…

Dan Tuohy

Ally Hogg, Cooper Vuna, Aaron Morris, Lachlan Turner, Bryce Heem and Dan Robson head the Opta Rugby Rankings

Attacks dominated as Newcastle Falcons claimed a dramatic win over Harlequins this weekend in Premiership Rugby but Ally Hogg starred…


Premiership Rugby backs Newcastle’s bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup Finals

Premiership Rugby today confirmed its “100% support” for Newcastle’s bid to become host city for European club rugby union's showpiece…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Newcastle launches bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup finals

Newcastle is bidding to become the host city for European club rugby union's showpiece weekend in May 2018. The aim…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Aviva Premiership Rugby wrap: Round 10

Maro Itoje could not mark his return to a Saracens jersey with a victory – but his director of rugby…

BATH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03:  Maro Itoje of  Saracens is tackled by Max Lahiff of Bath during the Aviva Premiership match between Bath Rugby and Saracens at the Recreation Ground on December 3, 2016 in Bath, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Pat Lam confirmed as Bristol Rugby head coach

Bristol Rugby is delighted to announce the appointment of Pat Lam as the Club’s new Head Coach. The 48 year-old…

Pat Lam

Newcastle Falcons v Saracens kick-off time change

Premiership Rugby can confirm that the kick-off time for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 17 Newcastle Falcons v Saracens fixture…

Aviva Premiership ball

Match Reaction: Worcester Warriors 12 Wasps 26

Wasps maintained the pressure on Aviva Premiership Rugby leaders Saracens with success over Worcester Warriors – a victory Dai Young…

Rob Miller deputised in sterling fashion (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

Match Reaction: Newcastle Falcons 38 Harlequins 32

Dean Richards’ Newcastle Falcons side are evolving according to the director of rugby, after he saw his side run in…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Report: Newcastle Falcons 38 Harlequins 32

Newcastle Falcons ran in six tries in a thriller of a game at Kingston Park with Juan Pablo Socino starring…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Match Report: Worcester Warriors 12 Wasps 26

Wasps moved to within one point of the Aviva Premiership Rugby summit but missed out on a bonus point in…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library