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- Aviva Premiership
- 20th Apr 2013
- KO 15:00
- Ground: Kingsholm
- Att: 15,537
Aviva Premiership match preview: Gloucester v Saracens
Gloucester have made five changes ahead of their Aviva Premiership clash against league leaders Saracens at Kingsholm on Saturday.
Director of Rugby Nigel Davies makes front and back line changes in an attempt to keep Gloucester's play-off ambitions alive.
Injuries sustained by Huia Edmonds and Dario Chistolini at Sale last week mean Koree Britton and Shaun Knight start in the front row.
The changes see Tom Savage move into the second row as well as assume the captaincy while Sione Kalamafoni starts in the flanks with Ben Morgan wearing the number eight jersey on his return after spending four months out.
In the backs Charlie Sharples returns to the right wing while Henry Trinder gets the nod ahead of Mike Tindall at centre where he will partner Billy Twelvetrees.
Meanwhile top-of-the-table Saracens travel to Gloucester with six changes in personnel with an international trio rested with the play-offs in sight.
Mark McCall has opted to start Owen Farrell at centre while Richard Wigglesworth returns to the side at scrum-half.
Captain Steve Borthwick, Alistair Hargreaves, Will Fraser and Ernst Joubert all return to the pack following absences.
England backs Chris Ashton and Brad Barritt both sit out of the visit to Gloucester as does Scotland forward Kelly Brown.
Gloucester enter the clash five points adrift of the play-off places while Saracens hold a comfortable four-point advantage at the head of the table.
Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Chris Wyles, 13 Joel Tomkins, 12 Owen Farrell, 11 David Strettle, 10 Charlie Hodgson, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Ernst Joubert, 7 Will Fraser, 6 Jackson Wray, 5 Alistair Hargreaves, 4 Steve Borthwick (capt), 3 Matt Stevens, 2 John Smit, 1 Rhys Gill.
Replacements:16 Jamie George, 17 Mako Vunipola, 18 Carlos Nieto, 19 George Kruis, 20 Jacques Burger, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Duncan Taylor, 23 Joe Maddock.
Gloucester:15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Jonny May, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Nick Wood, 7 Koree Britton, 6 Shaun Knight, 5 Tom Savage (capt), 4 Lua Lokotui, 3 Sione Kalamafoni, 2 Akapusi Qera, 1 Ben Morgan.
Replacements:16 Tommaso d'Apice, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Yann Thomas, 19 Peter Buxton, 20 Andy Hazell, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Ryan Mills, 23 Martyn Thomas.
What they said...
Gloucester Director of Rugby Nigel Davies
"You have to give Saracens credit, they're a very efficient side. They know what they do, and they do it very well.
"We have to be on our mettle on Saturday. We have to be clear about what our game plan is. The real battle will be about the gain line both with and without the ball, and both teams will be looking to win that battle. It's going to be a physical encounter."
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|Friday 27th February|
|19:45||Northampton vs Harlequins|
|Saturday 28th February|
|14:30||London Welsh vs London Irish|
|15:00||Saracens vs Newcastle Falcons|
|15:00||Leicester Tigers vs Sale Sharks|
|15:15||Exeter vs Bath|
|Sunday 1st March|
|13:00||Wasps vs Gloucester|
|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Leicester|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Saturday 28th March|
|15:00||London Irish vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Leicester vs Exeter|
|15:15||Saracens vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 29th March|
|14:00||Sale vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Bath|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Bath|
|Saturday 11th April|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Gloucester|
|15:15||Saracens vs Leicester|
|Sunday 12th April|
|14:00||Exeter vs Northampton|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Sale|
|Saturday 25th April|
|14:00||Sale vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|London Irish 6 - 12 Leicester Tigers|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Bath 13 - 21 Northampton|
|Harlequins 21 - 32 Exeter|
|Gloucester 48 - 10 London Welsh|
|Sale Sharks 14 - 10 Saracens|
|Friday 20th February|
|Newcastle 23 - 23 Wasps|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wasps 37 - 6 Harlequins|
|London Welsh 12 - 52 Sale|
|Saracens 34 - 24 Bath|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Exeter 46 - 17 Newcastle|
|Friday 13th February|
|Leicester 18 - 15 Gloucester|
|Northampton 15 - 9 London Irish|
|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
|Newcastle 38 - 7 London Welsh|
|Saturday 10th January|
|Harlequins 32 - 12 Leicester|
|Bath 39 - 26 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 20 - 7 Northampton|
|Friday 9th January|
|Gloucester 24 - 23 Saracens|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com