TOP BAR - Fixtures

One change for Gloucester Rugby for local derby at Bristol Bears

One change for Gloucester Rugby for local derby at Bristol Bears

Looking to make it three Gallagher Premiership wins in a row, Gloucester Rugby make one change to their starting line-up for Friday evening’s local derby against Bristol Bears at Ashton Gate.

It’s the third Friday evening fixture in succession for the Cherry and Whites, and they will be looking to maintain their push for a top four finish.

There is just the one change in the Gloucester Rugby starting line-up from the team that started against Saracens as Australian international hooker James Hanson comes into the front row, with Franco Marais named amongst the replacements.

The one other change to the matchday squad sees loosehead prop Alex Seville named amongst the replacements.

The first Premiership meeting between the two sides, at Kingsholm back in September, was a hard-fought affair with the Cherry and Whites finally coming out on top. Head Coach Johan Ackermann is expecting another tough encounter.

“It’s going to be massive. We’ve put ourselves in a good position in the past two weeks, but Bristol are a side that plays great rugby, they have a lot of confidence and they can score great tries, they average over 30 points at home.

“For us it’s important to keep the same intensity and that’s what we’ve focused on this week, to make sure that we don’t drop off in training and stick to the normal routine as far as possible.

“We’re not getting carried away. Two wins is a bonus and we can take confidence from that. They were wins over two leading sides but we’re not kidding ourselves, they had some players out and were missing experience and quality.

“We have to keep looking at ourselves, and keep on improving as the challenge is going to get tougher. Bristol have got a very good squad and some X Factor players. They’ve got continuity in their team and bring a different challenge to any other Premiership team.”

Gloucester Rugby:

15. Jason Woodward; 14. Tom Marshall, 13. Billy Twelvetrees, 12. Mark Atkinson, 11. Ollie Thorley; 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Willi Heinz (capt); 1. Josh Hohneck, 2. James Hanson, 3. Fraser Balmain; 4. Ed Slater, 5. Franco Mostert; 6. Ruan Ackermann, 7. Jaco Kriel, 8. Ben Morgan

Replacements:

16. Franco Marais, 17. Alex Seville, 18. Ciaran Knight, 19. Freddie Clarke, 20. Jake Polledri, 21. Callum Braley, 22. Owen Williams, 23. Matt Banahan

Unavailable for selection:

Ruan Dreyer, Lloyd Evans, Todd Gleave, Tom Hudson, Val Rapava Ruskin, Charlie Sharples

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