Preview: Gloucester v Sale Sharks

Date published: December 3 2015

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Gloucester have kept the faith with the majority of their side that will face Sale Sharks on Friday, with only Sione Kalamafoni coming into the XV.

Kalamafoni replaces Ben Morgan at number eight with the rest of the pack unchanged.

The backs are also largely unchanged although James Hook and Billy Twelvetrees swap positions, with Hook now lining up at fly-half and Twelvetrees at inside centre.

In the replacements, Nick Wood and Nicky Thomas are named in the matchday squad for the first time this season and Henry Trinder could make his first Premiership appearance of the season following run outs in Europe and the A League.

After two defeats away from home, Gloucester will be looking to make the most of their return to Kingsholm in a bid to get back to winning ways according to Backs and Attack Coach, Nick Walshe.

"Last week was frustrating but we're staying really positive, working really hard and are sure that we'll come good. A couple of wins on the bounce and you move up five or six places," he said.

"We're doing some good stuff, we're doing some not so good stuff at the minute. So, we're looking to put in a good performance against Sale on Friday, getting the crowd behind us and cheering and getting some buzz and confidence into the team."

And Walshe is conscious that Gloucester are up against a tough Sale side on Friday.

"Sale are a very good side. They're competitive, they're very tough and they never give in. If they lose, they're never heavily beaten," he added.

"And, when you have someone like Cipriani pulling the strings, you just never know. Some of his individual brilliance last year created three tries against us.

"So, we're conscious of how good they can be, but we're a good side as well. We know that and we're working hard to show that."

Meanwhile, Sale boss Steve Diamond has made three changes to last week's side that drew with Newcastle Falcons.

Josh Beaumont, Peter Stringer and Nev Edwards come into the side, in the place of Magnus Lund, Chris Cusiter and Tom Arscott respectively. There is also a welcome return to action for David Seymour, who is on the bench having missed the previous five games through injury.

"Gloucester are a good side at home, we've got to be on our mettle to get anything out of the game. Kingsholm is a fantastic place to go and a different challenge for us, we've just got to make sure the mentality is right," said Diamond.

Form: Gloucester's two victories this season in Aviva Premiership Rugby were away to Newcastle Falcons in round 1 and at home to Worcester Warriors in round 3. Gloucester have not scored a Premiership Rugby try since David Halaifonua did so against Warriors 180 minutes ago. Sale Sharks have also won just two Aviva Premiership Rugby games this season, both at home to Worcester and Northampton Saints in rounds 2 and 3. The Sharks have lost their last seven away games in all tournaments since beating London Welsh at Oxford in February. Each side won its respective home game when the two teams clashed last season. Sale have won on two of their most recent four visits to Kingsholm. Referee JP Doyle becomes just the 10th referee to take charge of 100 Premiership Rugby matches.

The teams:

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Bill Meakes, 12 Billy Twelvetrees (c), 11 Jonny May, 10 James Hook, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 Jeremy Thrush, 4 Tom Savage, 3 John Afoa, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Paddy McAllister.
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Nick Wood, 18 Nicky Thomas, 19 Mariano Galarza, 20 Jacob Rowan, 21 Greig Laidlaw, 22 Henry Trinder, 23 Henry Purdy.

Sale Sharks: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Nev Edwards, 13 Sam James, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Will Addison, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Peter Stringer, 8 Josh Beaumont, 7 TJ Ioane, 6 Dan Braid (c), 5 Jonathan Mills, 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Neil Briggs, 17 Eifion Lewis Roberts, 18 Brian Mujati, 19 Andrei Ostrikov, 20 David Seymour, 21 Chris Cusiter, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Mark Jennings.

Date: Friday, November 4
Venue: Kingsholm
Kick-off: 19:45 GMT
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant referees: Peter Huckle, Paul Dix
Television match official: Stuart Terheege
Timekeeper: Eric Bullion
Assessor: Nigel Yates

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