Jeremy Thrush will captain Gloucester Rugby this weekend, as they take the long trip north to take on the Newcastle Falcons in the final round of pool matches in this season’s Anglo-Welsh Cup.
The All Black second row leads a team that features plenty of first team experience, but also a number of Academy graduates as the Cherry and Whites travel to Kingston Park for the second time this season.
As things stand, both teams are currently in with a chance of making the semi-finals. Gloucester trail Bath by one point at the top of pool one while the Falcons are level on points with Leicester at the top of pool four.
However, Bath travel to Ospreys on Friday evening where a victory would give them four wins in the pool stages, a total Gloucester can’t match even with a victory over the Falcons.
Head of Academy Richard Whiffin is once again taking the coaching reins this week, and explained that the squad’s focus is 100% on Saturday’s game and not on events taking place elsewhere.
“It’s obviously not in our hands, Bath play on Friday night and we’ll wait and see what that result is. But, for us, we haven’t really focused on the pool or results, it’s all about a performance, building from Ospreys and making improvements.
“Newcastle is a tough place to go to, but hopefully we can put on a good performance, get the win and see where that puts us after all the results come in.
“It’s almost winner takes all, both teams will be trying to win the game as everyone always does. It may well change a few things towards the back end of the game if there’s bonus points needed etc. But, it certainly doesn’t change it from the start, both teams will be going out there to get the win.”
15. Tom Hudson; 14. David Halaifonua, 13. Matt Scott, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Henry Purdy; 10. Owen Williams, 9. Ben Vellacott; 1. Cameron Orr, 2. Motu Matu’u, 3. Gareth Denman; 4. Charlie Beckett, 5. Jeremy Thrush (capt); 6. Gareth Evans, 7. Will Safe, 8. Ben Morgan
16. Richard Hibbard, 17. Paddy McAllister, 18. Ciaran Knight, 19. Tom Denton, 20. Aaron Hinkley, 21. Callum Braley, 22. Elliott Creed, 23. Tom Seabrook
Unavailable for selection:
Willi Heinz, Val Rapava Ruskin, Jacob Rowan, Charlie Sharples