Fixtures - Top Bar

Rowan skippers Gloucester as they kick off their Challenge Cup defence

Jacob Rowan will skipper a new-look Gloucester Rugby side that will look to earn its stripes against Zebre at Kingsholm on Saturday afternoon.

All Black Jeremy Thrush will make his debut and centre Henry Trinder is named amongst the replacements. 

The Zebre fixture is the first of three matches that Gloucester will play in six days with the Barbarians coming to Kingsholm on Tuesday evening and the team then travelling to take on La Rochelle on Thursday evening.
 
As such, there are multiple changes to the side that started at Wasps last weekend with the squad set to be used to its fullest capacity over the next few days.
 
Rowan is no stranger to the captain’s armband, having skippered Yorkshire Carnegie with distinction for a number of seasons as well as England U20s.
 
The arrival of All Black Thrush is a welcome boost to a second row department that has been short of numbers in recent weeks due to injury and suspension.
 
And the return of Trinder to the matchday squad for the first time since February is terrific news. The centre has battled back from a succession of injuries and everyone will wish him well should he take the field.
 
It’s the second season in succession that Gloucester and Zebre face off in the group stages of the European Rugby Challenge Cup and director of rugby David Humphreys knows that the Italian side will provide stubborn opposition.
 
“The fact that they, over the course of the past month or so, have beaten Cardiff and Edinburgh shows that they have improved. They have recruited well and brought in some experienced international players," said Humphreys.
 
“As is always the case, it will be very competitive early on. We’ll have to keep our composure and be sensible with our decision making.
 
“The European Rugby Challenge Cup was an important competition for us last year and winning it was due reward for all the hard work that had gone in. 
 
“For us this is an opportunity to be the first club to retain the Challenge Cup. That’s what we’re looking to do but, in order to do that, a home quarter-final is important and we have to get off to a winning start.”
 
Gloucester Rugby: Rob Cook; Steve McColl, Bill Meakes, Mark Atkinson, Henry Purdy; Billy Burns, Callum Braley; Yann Thomas, Tom Lindsay, Paul Doran-Jones; Elliott Stooke, Jeremy Thrush; Ross Moriarty, Jacob Rowan (capt), Lewis Ludlow
Replacements: Darren Dawidiuk, Dan Murphy, Nicky Thomas, Tom Hicks, Dan Thomas, Greig Laidlaw, Henry Trinder, Ollie Thorley
 

Latest News

Match Report: Harlequins 53 Newcastle Falcons 17

Harlequins kept their hopes of a top-four Aviva Premiership Rugby finish alive as they surged clear in the second half…

Match Report: Exeter Chiefs 30 Sale Sharks 25

High-flying Exeter Chiefs survived a scare from Sale Sharks to maintain second place in the Aviva Premiership Rugby table with…

Match Reaction: Bristol Rugby 14 Gloucester Rugby 32

Director of rugby David Humphreys praised the impact of Jonny May as he signalled his return to the Gloucester Rugby…

Match Report: Bristol Rugby 14 Gloucester Rugby 32

Jonny May touched down to conclude a length of the field score to earn Gloucester Rugby a try bonus point…

Northampton Saints’ Brookes prepared for sold-out East Midlands derby

Franklin’s Gardens will be sold out for the East Midlands derby between Northampton Saints and Leicester Tigers and Kieran Brookes…

Impending fatherhood won’t distract centurion Francois Louw at Bath Rugby

It’s a big week for Bath Rugby’s François Louw, who will be making his 100th appearance for the side on…

AUDIO: Preview of this weekend’s Aviva Premiership action

After another 6 Nations has come and gone, the Aviva Premiership returns this weekend for the 18th round of games.…

Wasps team to play Worcester Warriors at the Ricoh Arena

Director of Rugby Dai Young has named his side to face Worcester Warriors this Sunday at the Ricoh Arena, kick…

Dan Robson

Bath Rugby’s Louw to make 100th appearance against Saracens

Francois Louw will make his 100th appearance for Bath Rugby against Saracens at Allianz Park on Sunday, kick-off 15:00. The…

Francois Louw

Exeter Chiefs side to face Sale Sharks

Ali Hepher believes Exeter Chiefs still have areas to work on as their Aviva Premiership season heads towards the final…

Ben Moon

Leicester Tigers team news for return to Aviva Premiership Rugby action

Six Nations champions Ben Youngs and Dan Cole return to the Leicester Tigers team for Saturday's Aviva Premiership derby against…

Ben Youngs

Sale Sharks Team News to face Exeter Chiefs

Sale Sharks have named their side to take on Exeter Chiefs on Saturday at Sandy Park in the Aviva Premiership…

Andrei Ostrikov

Saracens name side to face Bath Rugby

Saracens have named their side to face Bath for Sunday’s round 18 Aviva Premiership clash at Allianz Park, kick-off 15h00.…

Alex Goode

Northampton Saints team news for Leicester Tigers clash

The Northampton Saints team has been announced for Saturday’s Aviva Premiership derby against Leicester. With five rounds to play both…

Dylan Hartley

Worcester Warriors unchanged for West Midlands derby

Warriors name an unchanged starting 15 as they return to Aviva Premiership action against Wasps in the West Midlands derby…

Josh Adams

Sonatane Takulua and Newcastle Falcons set sights on double over Harlequins

Sonatane Takulua is hoping history repeats itself as Newcastle Falcons eye up an Aviva Premiership Rugby double over Harlequins. This…

13 return for Harlequins ahead of Newcastle Falcons

Harlequins has named the squad to play Newcastle Falcons in Round 18 of the Aviva Premiership at The Stoop on…

Dave Ward