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Preview: Gloucester v Biarritz

03rd April 2013 12:23

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Mike Tindall Gloucester Aviva Premiership

Centre stage: Mike Tindall

Mike Tindall returns to the Gloucester starting line-up to face Biarritz Olympique in the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final.

Tindall partnering Henry Trinder in the midfield is one of three changes in the Gloucester backline. Martyn Thomas starts at full-back in place of Rob Cook and Dave Lewis at scrum-half instead of Dan Robson.

Jim Hamilton is ruled out by the ankle injury he picked up against Harlequins last Friday and is replaced in the second row by Will James, while Nick Wood starts at loosehead to complete the changes.

It's another game that Gloucester will play under the Kingsholm floodlights, and Director of Rugby Nigel Davies stated this week that it's a great stage for his team to perform upon.

"Night games create a real element of theatre at Kingsholm I think, it really changes the atmosphere and adds an extra layer of drama," said Davies.

"There's a real buzz about the club. We've worked very hard to get this home quarter final against one of the premier teams in European rugby.

"We'll be kicking off the quarter final stages, the first televised game so it's really exciting for us.

"Biarritz have hit some good form recently, and so have we. It's a different challenge for us having been battling away in the Premiership. But it's a home quarter-final and it doesn't get much better than this."

Meanwhile, Biarritz have made four changes to the team that beat Grenoble in the Top 14 last week.

All four are in the pack as the Basques line-up a fresh front-row. Francisco Gomez Kodela, Arnaud Heguy and Eugene Van Staden take over from Benoit August, Thomas Synaeghel and Ben Broster.

In the back-row, Tanguy Molcard starts in the place of Thibault Dubarry.

The bench features the return of lock Pelu Lan Taele.

The teams:

Gloucester: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Mike Tindall (c), 11 Jonny May, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Tom Savage, 5 Will James, 4 Lua Lokotui, 3 Shaun Knight, 2 Koree Britton, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Huia Edmonds, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Andy Hazell, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Billy Twelvetrees, 23 Shane Monahan.

Biarritz: 15 Marcelo Bosch, 14 Takudzwa Ngwenya, 13 Benoit Baby, 12 Damien Traille, 11 Teddy Thomas, 10 Jean-Pascal Barraque, 9 Dimitri Yachvili, 8 Imanol Harinordoquy, 7 Raphael Lakafia, 6 Tanguy Molcard, 5 Mathias Marie, 4 Erik Lund, 3 Gomez Kodela, 2 Arnaud Heguy, 1 Eugene Van Staden.
Replacements: 16 Benoit August, 17 Thomas Synaeghel, 18 Ben Broster, 19 Pelu Lan Taele, 20 Seremaia Burotu, 21 Yann Lesgourgues, 22 Charles Gimenez, 23 Paul Couet-Lannes.

Date: Thursday, 4 April
Venue: Kingsholm
Kick-off: 20:00
Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Dudley Phillips (Ireland), David Wilkinson (Ireland)

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