Gloucester Rugby make seven changes for Friday Night Lights at Bristol
Ben Vellacott will skipper Gloucester Rugby in Friday evening’s Premiership Rugby Cup fixture away at Bristol Bears, with Henry Trinder set to make his 150th competitive appearance for the Cherry and Whites.
Four of the changes are in the back line. Tom Hudson comes in at full-back while Henry Trinder returns at outside centre. Ollie Thorley will make his first appearance of the season on the wing and Owen Williams is set for his first start at fly-half.
Up front, Kyle Traynor will start against one of his former clubs and Joe Mullis gets the nod at hooker. The final change sees Gerbrandt Grobler back in the starting line-up to partner Alex Craig in the second row.
Of note amongst the replacements is the first appearance in the matchday squad this season for both Gareth Denman and Jaco Kriel.
Head of Academy Richard Whiffin heads up the coaching team once again and, encouraged by the performance against Wasps last weekend, is looking forward to the challenge posed by Bristol Bears on Friday evening.
“The boys were incredibly pleased with their performance last weekend. It’s been a tough start for those guys as we’ve had a very young side out in the Premiership Rugby Shield. I was pleased for them, they prepped really well and put in a complete performance in front of a very good crowd.
“There were a lot of young guys making their debuts, the weather wasn’t great and there were a lot of skill errors but I was happy that, for 79 minutes of the game, we shut them out. In general, our defensive collision and threat on the ball caused Wasps problems.
“We’ve had a plan for the three weeks of this competition. Bristol were reasonably strong last week and I would imagine that at home, in front of their home crowd, they’ll put a decent team out.
“For us, it’s an opportunity for the younger guys and the guys coming back in after injury to put their hands up for selection in the Premiership weeks that follow.”
15. Tom Hudson; 14. Henry Purdy, 13. Henry Trinder, 12. Tom Seabrook, 11. Ollie Thorley; 10. Owen Williams, 9. Ben Vellacott (capt); 1. Kyle Traynor, 2. Joe Mullis, 3. Ciaran Knight; 4. Alex Craig, 5. Gerbrandt Grobler; 6. Cameron Terry, 7. Aaron Hinkley, 8. Gareth Evans
16. Todd Gleave, 17. Olly Adkins, 18. Gareth Denman, 19. Callum Allen, 20. Jaco Kriel, 21. Charlie Chapman, 22. Dom Coetzer, 23. Jack Reeves