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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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|Sunday 21st December|
|14:00||Wasps vs London Irish|
|Friday 26th December|
|15:00||London Irish vs London Welsh|
|Saturday 27th December|
|14:00||Bath vs Exeter|
|14:00||Sale vs Leicester|
|15:00||Newcastle vs Saracens|
|16:30||Harlequins vs Northampton|
|Sunday 28th December|
|14:30||Gloucester vs Wasps|
|Friday 2nd January|
|19:45||Northampton vs Newcastle Falcons|
|Saturday 3rd January|
|14:00||Saracens vs London Irish|
|16:30||Exeter vs Gloucester|
|Sunday 4th January|
|14:00||Wasps vs Sale|
|14:00||Leicester Tigers vs Bath|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Harlequins|
|Friday 9th January|
|19:45||Gloucester vs Saracens|
|Saturday 10th January|
|14:00||Sale vs Northampton|
|15:00||Bath vs Wasps|
|15:15||Harlequins vs Leicester Tigers|
|Sunday 11th January|
|14:00||Newcastle Falcons vs London Welsh|
|15:00||London Irish vs Exeter|
|Saturday 14th February|
|15:00||Leicester vs Gloucester|
|15:00||Northampton vs London Irish|
|15:00||Exeter vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 15th February|
|14:00||Wasps vs Harlequins|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Sale|
|15:00||Saracens vs Bath|
|Saturday 20th December|
|Gloucester 16 - 39 Bath|
|Northampton 23 - 19 Leicester Tigers|
|Saracens 78 - 7 London Welsh|
|Harlequins 15 - 7 Newcastle Falcons|
|Friday 19th December|
|Sale Sharks 18 - 11 Exeter|
|Sunday 30th November|
|Newcastle Falcons 13 - 18 Sale Sharks|
|London Welsh 14 - 43 Northampton|
|London Irish 9 - 21 Gloucester|
|Saturday 29th November|
|Exeter 27 - 19 Saracens|
|Leicester Tigers 18 - 16 Wasps|
|Friday 28th November|
|Bath 25 - 6 Harlequins|
|Sunday 23rd November|
|London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester Tigers|
|Saracens 24 - 31 Northampton|
|Saturday 22nd November|
|London Irish 23 - 33 Bath|
|Exeter 31 - 15 Wasps|
|Friday 21st November|
|Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 Gloucester|
|Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale Sharks|
|Sunday 16th November|
|Wasps 71 - 7 London Welsh|
|Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 Saracens|
|Saturday 15th November|
|Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle Falcons|
|Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London Irish|
|Friday 14th November|
|Gloucester 15 - 22 Harlequins|
|Northampton 18 - 24 Exeter|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com