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  • European Rugby Champions Cup
  • Pool 6
  • 23rd Jan 2009
  • KO 20:00
  • Ground: Parc des Sports Aguilera
  • Att: 7,000

Biarritz v Gloucester: Teams

At Parc Aguilera, Friday January 23, kick-off 8pm

Last updated: 23rd January 2009  

Biarritz v Gloucester: Teams

Tindall: Gloucester return

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Olly Morgan and Mike Tindall return as Gloucester travel to Biarritz needing a bonus-point win to get through to the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

Tindall has recovered from a dead leg and Morgan a dislocated finger picked up in defeat at Newcastle to return for Gloucester's trip to the Parc Des Sports Aguilera.

Morgan's return at full-back means Willie Walker switches to stand-off in place of Ryan Lamb, while Tindall replaces Matthew Watkins in the midfield alongside Olly Barkley.

Walker's last start at stand-off was against Newcastle a fortnight ago and he will be partnered at half-back by scrum-half Gareth Cooper.

On the wings, James Simpson-Daniel will be joined by Iain Balshaw, who both returned to action last Sunday.

In the forwards, there is one change to the starting line-up that featured against the Blues. Lock Will James comes in for Marco Bortolami, who became a father for the first time on Thursday morning - Bortolami moves to the bench.

Alasdair Dickinson will therefore start at loose-head prop alongside hooker Olivier Azam and tight-head Carlos Nieto.


Alex Brown will partner James in the second row, while Alasdair Strokosch continues at six, Apo Satala at openside and Luke Narraway at number eight.

"We will go out and try and win the game," said head coach Dean Ryan.

"I believe it would be suicidal to go out and chase a bonus point from the very start - we have to lay the right sort of foundations first and foremost.

"Our experience says a team with nothing to play for, at home in front of their own supporters, will play with no fear and means they are exceptionally dangerous opponents.

"There is no doubt we will approach this game in the right way and do everything we can to get the right result - it's not only important tomorrow but for the long-term.

"This team has been selected purely for this game and the challenges we face within it."

Biarritz field a full-strength side as they seek to salvage some pride and revenge for the defeat back in October at Kingsholm.

Captain Jerome Thion is on the bench though as he recovers from a slight injury.

Biarritz: 15 Nicolas Brusque, 14 Philippe Bidabe, 13 Romain Cabannes, 12 Damien Traille, 11 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 10 Julien Peyrelongue, 9 Dimitri Yachvili, 8 Imanol Harinordoquy, 7 Trevor Hall, 6 Samiu Vahafolau, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Cesar Damiani, 3 Campbell Johnstone, 2 Benoit August, 1 Fabien Barcella.
Replacements: 16 Eduard Coetzee, 17 Benoit Bourrust, 18 Jerome Thion, 19 Peio Som, 20 Andrea Masi, 21 Laurent Tranier, 22 Ilikena Bolakoro.

Gloucester: 15 Olly Morgan, 14 Iain Balshaw, 13 Mike Tindall (capt), 12 Olly Barkley, 11 James Simpson-Daniel, 10 Willie Walker, 9 Gareth Cooper, 8 Luke Narraway, 7 Apo Satala, 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 5 Alex Brown, 4 Will James, 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Olivier Azam, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Nick Wood, 17 Andy Titterrell, 18 Marco Bortolami, 19 Adam Eustace, 20 Rory Lawson, 21 Anthony Allen, 22 Matthew Watkins.

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