Preview: Gloucester v Harlequins

Date published: November 13 2014

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Billy Twelvetrees returns from England duty to skipper Gloucester from the fly-half position as Harlequins run out at Kingsholm on Friday.

Billy Twelvetrees returns from England duty to skipper Gloucester from fly-half as Harlequins come to Kingsholm.

Twelvetrees will wear the number ten shirt with James Hook having been called up by Wales, and will partner Dan Robson in the half-backs.

Following the LV= Cup weekends, the Gloucester starting line-up has a more familiar look to it as a number of stars return after a couple of weeks off.

In addition to Hook, there are another six players away on internationals – Jonny May and Ben Morgan (England), Greig Laidlaw (Scotland) and Sione Kalamafoni, Aleki Lutui, and Sila Puafisi (Tonga).

However, Richard Hibbard, not required by Wales this weekend, returns to his club and will start amongst the replacements on Friday.

Meanwhile, there are six changes to Harlequins; starting side that defeated the Dragons last week as Nick Evans and George Lowe start at fly-half and inside centre respectively.

In the forwards, Dave Ward is named at hooker, while George Robson, Luke Wallace and Nick Easter, who captains the side from number eight, return to their starting line-up.

Among the replacements, Jordan Burns will look to make his first appearance of the season.

Form: Gloucester have won three of their last four matches, the defeat being 27-28 at Exeter in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on 1st November. Gloucester’s only defeat in their last five matches at Kingsholm was 22-25 to Exeter in Aviva Premiership Rugby on 19th September. Harlequins have won three of their last four games in all tournaments, whilst their last four encounters in Premiership Rugby have all been won by the home side on the day. The last fifteen clashes between the two clubs in Premiership Rugby have all been won by the home side on the day whilst Harlequins solitary victory in any tournament at Kingsholm since 1999 came in the European Cup in November 2011.

The teams:

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Billy Meakes, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Henry Purdy, 10 Billy Twelvetrees (capt), 9 Dan Robson, 8 Ross Moriarty, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Tom Savage, 5 James Hudson, 4 Tom Palmer, 3 John Afoa, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 James Gibbons, 18 Yann Thomas, 19 Elliott Stooke, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Callum Braley, 22 Aled Thomas, 23 Dan Thomas.

Harlequins: 15 Ross Chisholm, 14 Charlie Walker, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 George Lowe, 11 Ollie Lindsay-Hague, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Nick Easter (capt), 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Joe Trayfoot, 5 George Robson, 4 Charlie Matthews, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Dave Ward, 1 Mark Lambert.
Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan 17 Darryl Marfo, 18 Will Collier, 19 Sam Twomey, 20 Jack Clifford, 21 Jordan Burns, 22 Tim Swiel, 23 Tom Casson.

Date: Friday, November 14
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: Andrew Small
Assistant referees: Paul Burton, Paul Dix
Television match official: Keith Lewis

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