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Premiership Rugby

Vickery continues Gloucester comeback

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

A weakened Gloucester team only managed a late bonus point in defeat to Leeds last Sunday, and coach Melville is keen to end the season with a win, ahead of the Zurich Championship Final at Twickenham.

It is however the home return of Vickery that will please the Kingsholm faithful in their final home game of the season – and England coach Clive Woodward, who earlier this week named the tighthead as captain for England's one-off match against the Barbarians later this month, Vickery having made his comeback as a replacement last weekend.

"I came on for 20 minutes at the end of the game when the game had opened up," said Vickery.

"I took a couple of hits and had a couple of scrums and it worked well. To be honest after all the training I had been doing, playing was much easier.

"Leeds was the next step on the ladder and hopefully I will get more game time against the Tigers.

"They will come down here with nothing to lose and will be desperate to beat the table-toppers, and they will want to bounce back after their defeat by London Irish they will have a lot to prove."

Back after suspension is South African flanker Jake Boer, who is among the nominees for the annual players' Player of the Season award.

Back rower Andy Hazell returns after signing a contract extension with the club, and there are places in the squad for the French duo of Ludovic Mercier and Olivier Azam, despite the pair having agreed to join Grenoble and Montferrand next season respectively.

Mercier will have a battle on his hands however to overtake Simon Amor after an impressive debut at No.10 last week.

Elsewhere, wing Marcel Garvey is back after a knock, while back rower James Forrester is out with a wrist injury – joining James Simpson-Daniel and Tom Beim in the physio room.

Gloucester (from):

Forwards: Olivier Azam, Jake Boer, Peter Buxton, Chris Collins, Mark Cornwell, Andy Deacon, Adam Eustace, Rob Fidler, Andy Hazell, Junior Paramore, Phil Vickery, Trevor Woodman.

Backs: Simon Amor, Tom Beim, Thinus Delport, Terry Fanolua, Marcel Garvey, Andy Gomarsall, Ludovic Mercier, Henry Paul, Clive Stuart-Smith, Robert Todd.

Kick-off: 15.00 BST (14.00 GMT)

By Mark Smith

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