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Savage to reach his century for Gloucester Rugby

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Tom Savage will make his 100th competitive appearance for Gloucester Rugby as the Cherry and Whites name their side for the European Rugby Challenge Cup fixture against Worcester Warriors at Kingsholm on Thursday evening (kick off 7:45pm).

The 26 year old will reach his century in his fifth season with Gloucester as one of ten changes to the starting line from the side that defeated the same side at Sixways last week.

Into the starting line-up come Rob Cook, Charlie Sharples, Billy Twelvetrees, Jonny May and James Hook in the backs.

Up front, there is a new look front row in Yann Thomas, Darren Dawidiuk and Nicky Thomas who will make his first start for the club. In the second row, Savage will partner Mariano Galarza, who lines up against his former club again, as does the final new face, Matt Kvesic.

Gloucester currently lead the pool by eight points, so victory at Kingsholm, which would be a competition record 13th in succession, would go a long way towards clinching a quarter-final berth.

Previewing the game with the media this week, Jonny Bell acknowledged that playing the same opponent for the second time in seven days presents a unique challenge, but that Gloucester are ready for the task in hand.

"These back to back games are a challenge in that you know each other inside out. They'll be looking at things from last week, areas they can attack, and we will also be looking at opportunities that we want to expose.

"But it's about getting our mindset right. We want to do well in this competition, so we aim to turn up in the right frame of mind, as we do for every game, as we want to deliver.

"This competition has special meaning for us and we want to progress. We're in the box seat at the moment and things are in our destiny. A top two seeding for the quarter-final is important because there are some great teams in the tournament and securing a quarter-final at Kingsholm, in front of a passionate home support, is ultimately what we want to do.

"So, we need to make sure that we control things well on Thursday and deliver, because Worcester are coming to Kingsholm to try and upset the apple cart."

Gloucester Rugby:

Rob Cook; Charlie Sharples, Henry Purdy, Billy Twelvetrees (capt), Jonny May; James Hook, Greig Laidlaw; Yann Thomas, Darren Dawidiuk, Nicky Thomas; Tom Savage, Mariano Galarza; Jacob Rowan, Matt Kvesic, Lewis Ludlow

Replacements:

Tom Lindsay, Dan Murphy, Josh McNulty, Elliott Stooke, Tom Hicks, Willi Heinz, Billy Burns, Mark Atkinson

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