Preview: Toulouse v Gloucester

Date published: November 11 2011

Toulouse have named Luke Burgess and Luke McAlister as their half-back partnership for their home showdown with Gloucester on Sunday.

Toulouse have named Luke Burgess and Luke McAlister as their half-back partnership for their home showdown against Gloucester on Sunday.

The international duo are just two of several star names included in the XV, with Yann David and Florian Fritz ousting Yannick Jauzion at centre.

Toulouse have not risked Theirry Dusautoir after his RWC exploits while William Servat is handed a spot on the bench for their European opener.

Meanwhile, Gloucester head coach Bryan Redpath has made minimal changes to the side that won at Exeter last weekend as his team kick off their Heineken Cup at Stade Ernest-Wallon.

Last Saturday saw Gloucester win on the road for the first time this season and that will have given the side a real boost ahead of the trip to France.

As a result, Redpath only brings two new faces into the line-up. With Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu unavailable due to suspension, Henry Trinder will partner Mike Tindall in the Gloucester midfield with Tindall moving to inside centre.

In the pack, Buxton is back on the blindside and will captain the side with Alasdair Strokosch shifting across to number eight.

The one change to the replacements sees Jonny May return after injury.

Talking to the media on Thursday afternoon, Redpath admitted that his side will go in as underdogs but should enjoy the occasion.

“They're probably the best side in European history. So, you have to go there and you have to and make sure your mindset is right,” he said.

“But the expectation on us is very low but, internally, we know that we have to be dogged and confident in ourselves and have a real go at them.

“There's no point going there and sitting back and waiting for them to have a go at you. We have to keep possession in the right areas, avoid loose kicks and soft turnovers and maintain the intensity we've shown in the past two weeks.

“But, it's an exciting place to go to, a great place to play rugby and our players should be thriving on it and not fearing it.”

The teams:

Toulouse: 15 Clément Poitrenaud, 14 Timoci Matanavou, 13 Yann David, 12 Florian Fritz, 11 Yves Donguy, 10 Luke McAlister, 9 Luke Burgess, 8 Shaun Sowerby, 7 Sylvain Nicolas, 6 Yannick Nyanga, 5 Romain Millo-Chluski, 4 Yoann Maestri, 3 Census Johnston, 2 Gary Botha, 1 Jean-Baptiste Poux.
Replacements: 16 William Servat, 17 Yohan Montes, 18 Johnson Falefa, 19 Grégory Lamboley, 20 Nicolas Vergallo, 21 Yannick Jauzion, 22 Lionel Beauxis, 23 Gillian Galan.

Gloucester: 15 Olly Morgan, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Mike Tindall, 11 Tom Voyce, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Rory Lawson, 8 Alasdair Strokosch, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Peter Buxton, 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Will James, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Darren Dawiduik, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Tom Savage, 20 Luke Narraway, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Tim Taylor, 23 Jonny May.

Date: Sunday, November 13
Kick-off: 16:00 (15:00 GMT)
Venue: Stade Ernest-Wallon
Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)