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O’Callaghan returns for Gloucester derby

Donncha O'Callaghan

British & Irish Lion Donncha O’Callaghan returns to the Warriors side for their first home match of the Aviva Premiership season on Friday night against neighbours Gloucester Rugby (kick-off 7.45pm).

O’Callaghan is one of three changes to the starting line-up along with tighthead prop James Johnston and flanker Alafoti Faosiliva, while Phil Dowson skippers the side from number eight.

Head Coach Carl Hogg, who spent seven years at Gloucester before making the move up the M5 to Sixways, keeps the same backline that featured at Twickenham against Saracens last weekend.

Former Gloucester player Ryan Lamb starts at fly-half for Warriors, and is just 11 Aviva Premiership points short of the 1000-mark.

Tighthead Mike Daniels and flanker Carl Kirwan are named among the replacements as Warriors look to pick up their first win of the campaign.

Hogg said: “You couldn’t have hand-picked a better home game to start the season. Playing against Gloucester in a big local derby on a Friday night will produce a fantastic atmosphere and we’re all excited to begin our Sixways campaign.

“Last weekend we didn’t really get ball in hand. Now it’s about getting an opportunity to put our game on the field.

“We want to make ourselves really tough to beat at home and that starts this Friday night.”

Warriors

15 Jackson Willison
14 Dean Hammond
13 Wynand Olivier
12 Ben Te’o
11 Cooper Vuna
10 Ryan Lamb
9 Jonny Arr

1 Val Rapava Ruskin
2 Niall Annett
3 James Johnston
4 Donncha O’Callaghan
5 Darren Barry
6 Alafoti Faosiliva
7 Marco Mama
8 Phil Dowson (C)

Replacements

16 Jaba Bregvadze
17 Na’ama Leleimalefaga
18 Mike Daniels
19 Christian Scotland-Williamson
20 Carl Kirwan
21 Luke Baldwin
22 Tom Heathcote
23 Perry Humphreys

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