London Irish v Gloucester: Teams
Declan Danaher returns to captain the Exiles in Saturday's Premiership clash against Gloucester.
Last Updated: 07/09/12 1:43pm
London Irish stalwart Declan Danaher returns to captain the side in Saturday's Premiership clash against Gloucester .
Danaher replaces Jamie Gibson in the back-row and will play alongside Ofisa Treviranus and Jon Fisher at Madejski Stadium.
John Ryan, who is currently on loan from Munster, is a front-row replacement and England U20s star Anthony Watson returns from injury to be named on the bench.
"Gloucester have a strong squad with some great players and a very astute coach in Nigel Davies," said director of rugby Brian Smith.
"Like us they tasted defeat last weekend so they'll be looking to upset us."
Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies brings in five new faces and makes one positional change to his side.
It's Gloucester's first game on the road in the Aviva Premiership this season, and notable amongst the new faces is club captain Jim Hamilton.
The lock returns having missed out at home against Northampton last weekend with an ankle injury.
There is just one change in the back line, where Henry Trinder comes in for Mike Tindall in the midfield, with the majority of the changes taking place in the pack.
Shaun Knight makes his first Premiership start at tighthead and Hamilton forms a new second row partnership alongside Will James.
Andy Hazell returns at openside flanker, fresh from an impressive performance in the Aviva Premiership A League on Monday evening, while Tom Savage moves from the second row to the blindside flank.
Irish got off to a losing start last weekend as they finished on the wrong end of a 40-3 scoreline against Saracens but Davies isn't reading too much into that performance.
"It's really about focusing on us," he said. "We've looked at London Irish and their game last weekend and they won't be taking too much out of it
"They're definitely going to bounce back and be stronger because they're at home. They'll be disappointed with last weekend and we can't read too much into it.
"It's more really a case, and it always has been anyway, about us looking at ourselves and making sure we get our game right. If we do that, then we'll progress.
"It's been a difficult squad to select. We've got a lot of players who are performing at a similar level. It's very competitive. But that's great because they'll all drive each other on."
London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 11 Marland Yarde, 10 Steve Shingler, 9 Tomás O'Leary, 8 Jon Fisher, 7 Ofisa Treviranus, 6 Declan Danaher (c), 5 Bryn Evans, 4 George Skivington, 3 Leo Halavatau, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Max Lahiff.
Replacements: 16 Brian Blaney, 17 Halani Aulika, 18 John Ryan, 19 Kieran Low, 20 Alex Gray, 21 Anthony Watson, 22 Shane Geraghty, 23 Jack Moates.
Gloucester: 15 Jonny May, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 James Simpson-Daniel, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Andy Hazell, 6 Tom Savage, 5 Jim Hamilton (c), 4 Will James, 3 Shaun Knight, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Huia Edmonds, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Rupert Harden, 19 Sione Kalamafoni, 20 Akapusi Qera, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Mike Tindall, 23 Martyn Thomas.