Henry Trinder will make his first start in the Aviva Premiership this season as Gloucester make seven changes to their starting line-up for Friday night’s West Country derby clash at Bristol Rugby.
The changes, compared to the side that started last time out against Harlequins, see four of the pack changed and three of the backs.
In the back line, returning from international duty is Jonny May who lines up on the right wing, while there is a new-look centre pairing in Andy Symons and Henry Trinder.
Up front, there is a return from injury for Paddy McAllister while Josh Hohneck covers the suspended John Afoa at tight-head prop. Tom Savage takes over from Mariano Galarza in the second row and the final change sees Sione Kalamafoni back in at blindside flanker.
Jonny Bell has taken over as Interim Head Coach following the departure of Laurie Fisher and reflected upon the past couple of weeks before focusing on Friday evening’s game.
“It’s been a couple of weeks now and I suppose we didn’t want to dwell on it for too long as you naturally wouldn’t. There was disappointment and then all the consequences of that.
“We had a break as a group and then came back in together and focused on moving forward and sticking tight together. I’m incredibly proud of the group, they’ve worked incredibly hard over the last two weeks.
“We’re up against a good side this weekend, against a team who are desperate for points and who play some good rugby. But we’ve got a number of league games to finish off and we want to finish them well, as well as a European campaign which we’re very much in. But we’re not getting ahead of ourselves, it’s a step at a time and the first step is Bristol.
“We’re playing against a side that needs points, they are also up against a team that needs points. We are hungry and desperate to climb the league. We are disappointed to be ninth, but we feel that we are better than that. We are where we are but we have to finish games to 80 minutes, we know that.”
15. Tom Marshall; 14. Jonny May, 13. Henry Trinder, 12. Andy Symons, 11. David Halaifonua; 10. Billy Burns, 9. Willi Heinz (capt); 1. Paddy McAllister, 2. Richard Hibbard, 3. Josh Hohneck; 4. Tom Savage, 5. Jeremy Thrush; 6. Sione Kalamafoni, 7. Jacob Rowan, 8. Ben Morgan
16. Motu Matu’u, 17. Yann Thomas, 18. Paul Doran-Jones, 19. Tom Denton, 20. Lewis Ludlow, 21. Callum Braley, 22. Billy Twelvetrees, 23. Charlie Sharples
Unavailable for selection:
John Afoa, Mariano Galarza, Joe Latta, Ross Moriarty, Gareth Evans, Greig Laidlaw, James Hook, Mark Atkinson, Matt Scott, Ollie Thorley