Former All Blacks scrum-half Jimmy Cowan has been handed his first start for Gloucester in their Challenge Cup clash with Bordeaux.
Former All Blacks scrum-half Jimmy Cowan has been given his first start for Gloucester in Thursday's Amlin Challenge Cup clash with Bordeaux.
Only seven of those who started last Thursday's win over Mont de Marsan – Shaun Knight, Will James, Sione Kalamafoni, Tim Molenaar, Mike Tindall, Charlie Sharples and Martyn Thomas – retain their places in the starting line-up.
After two replacement appearances, Cowan makes his first start in a Gloucester shirt while James Simpson-Daniel and Billy Twelvetrees return in the backline, the latter at fly-half.
Up front, Dan Murphy gets the nod at loosehead and there are returns for Huia Edmonds, Akapusi Qera, Ben Morgan and Jim Hamilton, who resumes the captaincy.
Last Thursday's 11-6 win was something of a dogfight in torrential rain in South West France and, talking to the media this week, Davies insisted getting the four points was the primary goal.
“Conditions had a big say in what we were able to do out in Mont de Marsan on the night and we probably had to play a little bit within ourselves to get that result,” he said.
“Now, we've just got to concentrate on building our game and getting good at our game. When that comes, we'll play very well and start getting bonus points. Bonus points are important but we can't think too far ahead, we have to win first.”
Thursday's opposition, Bordeaux-Begles, suffered a 43-16 setback at home to London Irish last weekend but Davies isn't reading too much into that result.
“Not many of their players had played at the start of the season so it's not easy to take too much from their game last week,” he said.
“They'll probably be a bit disappointed with the way they went against Irish, and we'll expect a bit of a backlash from them.
“We've selected quite a different XV, a XV we think can do a job for us and it's really about us performing and moving us forward.”
Gloucester: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Tim Molenaar, 11 James Simpson-Daniel, 10 Billy Twelvetrees, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 Jim Hamilton (capt), 4 Will James, 3 Shaun Knight, 2 Huia Edmonds, 1 Dan Murphy.
Replacements: 16 Koree Britton, 17 Nick Wood, 18 Rupert Harden, 19 Tom Savage, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Tim Taylor, 23 Rob Cook.
Bordeaux-Begles: 15 Darly Domvo, 14 Avesini Vasuinubu, 13 Charles Brousse, 12 Michel Denetre, 11 Thierry Brana, 10 Nicolas Sanchez, 9 Julien Seron, 8 Damien Larrieu, 7 Rohan Kitshoff, 6 Gauthier Gibouin, 5 FranÃ§ois Tisseau, 4 Carolis Navickas, 3 Yassin Boutemane, 2 Fabien Rofes, 1 Franck Labbe.
Replacements: 16 StÃ©phane Fort, 17 Laurent DelBoulbes, 18 Jefferson Poirot, 19 Andrew Chauveau, 20 FÃ©lix Le Bourhis, 21 Francesco Favaro, 22 Camille Lopez, 23 Hugh Chalmers.
Date: Thursday, October 18
Kick-off: 19:45 BST
Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant referees: Carlo Damasco (Italy), Claudio Blessano (Italy)
Television match official: Alan Falzone (Italy)
Timekeeper: Matthew Peters (England)
Assessor: Nigel Williams (Wales)
Citing commissioner: Richard Gwynn (Wales)