Gloucester v Bristol Team news
By Sky Sports Rugby Union
Last Updated: 14/09/18 12:56pm
All the latest team news for Fridays Premiership clash where unbeaten Gloucester take on promoted side Bristol Bears.
Gloucester v Bristol (Friday, 7.45pm)
The action gets underway at Kingholm where unbeaten Gloucester take on promoted side Bristol Bears.
The Cherry and Whites have handed competitive debuts to the South African duo of hooker Franco Marais and second row Gerbrandt Grobler.
In one further change to the side that started the thrilling 31-31 draw with Bath last weekend, Jake Polledri comes into the back row with Ruan Ackermann switching from the flank to No 8.
Bristol make nine changes to the side that led defending-champions Saracens at half-time before succumbing to a 44-23 defeat at Allianz Park last weekend.
Harry Randall lines up against his former club in his first competitive start, while Tusi Pisi and Ian Madigan also return to the backline. Ryan Edwards is named in place of Alapati Leiua who misses the game with a back injury.
In the pack, Yann Thomas comes in at loosehead, Shaun Malton makes his first start for the Bears at hooker and John Afoa packs down at tighthead against his former side.
Joe Joyce also makes his first start of the season in the second row alongside Chris Vui, who has recovered from a groin injury.
Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann is prepared for another stern test of his side's title credentials.
"They've already shown what we knew before the season started, that they've going to be highly competitive, well coached and with a lot of X factor across the board," he said.
"They've proved that at Saracens last weekend, they proved it in round one. They're not here just to make up numbers in the competition, they've made it quite clear they want to stay in the Premiership and they've going to be highly motivated and very tough to beat. We'll obviously have to be at our best."
Meanwhile, his Bristol counterpart Pat Lam has welcomed the latest challenge facing his side since their return to the top flight.
Nine changes for @BristolBears as @hazrandall9 and @Ian_madigan start against @gloucesterrugby— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) September 13, 2018
in the West Country derby on Friday night. Catch it live on @btsport #GLOvBRI #GallagherPremhttps://t.co/BPWYhPL5qN @gallagheruk_ pic.twitter.com/QJpJXq72vO
"We've put a focus on our execution and making sure our teamwork is spot on. Gloucester have started the season strongly so that teamwork will be vital for us to compete at Kingsholm.
"We love these games; it tests us a group. When you go away from home, you have to be united as a team and there's an excitement about Friday night."
Gloucester Rugby: 15 Jason Woodward; 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Matt Banahan; 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Callum Braley; 1 Val Rapava Ruskin, 2 Franco Marais, 3 Fraser Balmain; 4 Ed Slater (c), 5 Gerbrandt Grobler; 6.Jake Polledri, 7 Lewis Ludlow, 8 Ruan Ackermann
Replacements: 16 James Hanson, 17 Josh Hohneck, 18 Ciaran Knight, 19 Freddie Clarke, 20 Ben Morgan, 21 Ben Vellacott, 22 Mark Atkinson, 23 Tom Hudson
Bristol Bears: 15 Piers O'Conor; 14 Luke Morahan, 13 Siale Piutau, 12 Tusi Pisi, 11 Ryan Edwards; 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Harry Randall; 1 Yann Thomas, 2 Shaun Malton, 3 John Afoa, 4 Joe Joyce, 5 Chris Vui, 6 Steve Luatua (c), 7 George Smith, 8 Jack Lam.
Replacements: 16 Harry Thacker, 17 Jake Woolmore, 18 Jake Armstrong, 19 Ed Holmes, 20 Nick Haining, 21 Nic Stirzaker, 22 Callum Sheedy, 23 Zane Kirchner.