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Mont de Marsan v Gloucester: Amlin Challenge Cup preview

Last updated: 11th October 2012  

Mont de Marsan v Gloucester: Amlin Challenge Cup preview

Charlie Sharples: Returns from a shoulder injury

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Gloucester welcome back England wing Charlie Sharples for their Amlin Challenge Cup opener against Mont de Marsan in France tonight.

Sharples has been sidelined with a shoulder injury suffered during the Aviva Premiership victory over London Irish last month.

Head coach Nigel Davies has rung the changes with Mike Tindall leading the side, while wing Ian Clark and hooker Koree Britton make their European debuts.

There are also opportunities for the likes of full-back Martyn Thomas, fly-half Tim Taylor and flanker Matt Cox, with Jimmy Cowan set for a second successive start from the bench.

Mont de Marsan are currently propping up the French Top 14 with just a solitary point so far this season.

The pool also includes London Irish and Bordeaux-Begles.

Mont de Marsan: tbc

Gloucester: 15 M Thomas; 14 C Sharples, 13 T Molenaar, 12 M Tindall (capt), 11 I Clark; 10 T Taylor, 9 D Lewis; 1 Y Thomas, 2 K Britton, 3 S Knight; 4 P Buxton, 5 W James; 6 M Cox, 7 A Hazell, 8 S Kalamafoni. Replacements: 16 T d'Apice, 17 N Wood, 18 D Chistolini, 19 E Stooke, 20 G Evans, 21 J Cowan, 22 H Trinder, 23 B Twelvetrees

What they said

Gloucester head coach Nigel Davies

"Momentum is very important. To continue winning and developing and building our game is really important. We've rotated the squad in the Premiership fixtures already, but it is important that we give an opportunity to some others.

"And we are expecting no less from these guys. They have to step up to the plate and they have to take our game forward."

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European Rugby Challenge Cup Table

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1 Sale Sharks 6 23
3 Oyonnax 6 12
Forthcoming European Rugby Challenge Cup Fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Thursday 16th October
European Rugby Challenge Cup
19:45Gloucester vs Brive
Friday 17th October
19:00Bordeaux-Begles vs Edinburgh
Saturday 18th October
13:00LOU Rugby vs London Welsh
14:30Cardiff Blues vs Grenoble
15:00Zebre vs Oyonnax
17:00Connacht vs La Rochelle
19:00Bayonne vs Exeter
19:45Stade Francais vs Newport Gwent D'gons
Thursday 23rd October
19:45London Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles
Friday 24th October
18:30Grenoble vs London Irish
18:30La Rochelle vs Bayonne
19:30Brive vs Zebre
19:30Newport Gwent D'gons vs Newcastle
19:45Edinburgh vs LOU Rugby
Saturday 25th October
15:00Exeter vs Connacht
19:45Oyonnax vs Gloucester

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Phil Edwards

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