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Worcester Warriors announce team for West Country clash

Andy Symons is set for his first Warriors appearance since April in Thursday’s European Challenge Cup clash against Gloucester Rugby at Sixways (kick-off 7.45pm).

The centre enjoyed a fine 2014/15 campaign but has spent the last eight months on the sidelines with a knee injury. 

Head Coach Carl Hogg makes four changes to the side which started Warriors' last European match at Zebre Rugby with Charlie Mulchrone skippering from scrum-half. 

Tom Biggs starts on the wing, Matt Cox gets the nod at blindside flanker while Symons comes into the centre. 

Ben Howard will look to build on his promising performances at full-back with Dean Hammond completing the back three. 

Alex Grove starts at 13 while Ryan Lamb will look to press his claims for an Aviva Premiership start at fly-half. 

The pack sees Ryan Bower partner Jaba Bregvadze and Gareth Milasinovich in the front row with Darren O'Shea and Dan Sanderson in the second row. 

Cox is joined by Carl Kirwan and Marco Mama in the back row. 

Tiff Eden is named on the bench and could make his first appearance since helping Warriors to B&I Cup Final glory in April when he slotted 15 points.

Head Coach Carl Hogg said: "We've got one or two returning from injury which is great and it's an opportunity for those who haven't had a huge amount of Aviva Premiership gametime to stick their hands up. 

"We want to create healthy competition across the squad.
 
"Symons has had a very intensive rehab programme and he's looking fit and sharp so we're looking forward to seeing him out there again on Thursday night.
 
"We know we have to win our home games and Gloucester travel well and will be confident. But we know the challenge in front of us and it's one we're relishing.” 

Warriors
15 Ben Howard
14 Dean Hammond
13 Alex Grove
12 Andy Symons
11 Tom Biggs
10 Ryan Lamb
9 Charlie Mulchrone (C)

1 Ryan Bower
2 Jaba Bregvadze
3 Gareth Milasinovich
4 Dan Sanderson
5 Darren O'Shea
6 Matt Cox
7 Carl Kirwan
8 Marco Mama

Replacements
16 Ben Sowrey
17 Val Rapava Ruskin
18 Mike Daniels
19 Darren Barry 
20 Sam Betty 
21 Jonny Arr
22 Tiff Eden 
23 Max Stelling

Order your Aviva Premiership Rugby Final Christmas gift tickets and you will receive a free pair of his or hers Oddballs pants with the only tickets which will be delivered before Christmas. Click here to buy your tickets before 5pm on Wednesday 16 December.
 

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