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Preview: Perpignan v Gloucester

17th January 2014 09:40

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Gloucester v Perpignan James Hudson

Hunting a Challeng Cup quarter-final: Gloucester

Perpignan have named French international wing Sofiane Guitoune at fly-half for Saturday's Heineken Cup clash with against Gloucester at Stade Aime Giral.

With a number of injury absentees to deal with the Catalans have been forced to experiment. The hosts have nothing to play for but have named a strong team although is shows 13 changes to the side that lost to Edinburgh last week.

Meanwhile, Gloucester Director of Rugby Nigel Davies has made only two changes to his starting line up.

The 20-7 defeat at the hands of Munster last weekend, means that Gloucester are now playing for second place in the pool and a possible Amlin Challenge Cup Quarter Final spot.

Despite the loss at Kingsholm against the Irish province, Gloucester put in a spirited performance and, as a result, Davies keeps faith with the majority of the side.

The only changes see Rob Cook come in for Martyn Thomas at full back, and Huia Edmonds replace the injured Darren Dawidiuk.

Speaking to the media ahead of the game, Davies confirmed that he's looking for his side to match the effort and commitment of last week.

"That set the bar in terms of intensity and commitment, and we have to look to repeat that," he said.

"I also think that in an attacking sense, we created a lot of chances. We played some good structure in attack, but weren't accurate enough in finishing them.

"We're focusing on many things in this second half of the season. We're going to play rugby, we'll play with intent but look to improve our accuracy. If we match that intensity and work rate, and be a bit more clinical, we'll win more games than we lose."

The teams:

Perpignan: 15 Joffrey Michel, 14 Tommaso Benvenuti, 13 David Marty (c), 12 Sione Piukala, 11 Watisoni Votu, 10 Sofiane Guitoune, 9 Tom Ecochard, 8 Karl Chateau 7 Luke Narraway, 6 Justin Purll, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Dan Leo, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Romain Terrain, 1 Sébastien Taofifenua.
Replacements: 16 Maxime Delonca, 17 George Jgenti, 18 Sona Taumalolo, 19 Jean-Pierre Perez, 20 Nicolas Durand, 21 Lifeimi Mafi, 22 Jens Torfs, 23 Alasdair Strokosch

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Jonny May, 12 Billy Twelvetrees (c), 11 Shane Monahan, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Gareth Evans 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Matt Cox, 5 James Hudson, 4 Elliot Stooke, 3 Sila Puafisi, 2 Huia Edmonds, 1 Yann Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Daniel George, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Will James, 20 Sione Kalafamoni, 21 Jimmy Cowan, 22 Martyn Thomas, 23 Steph Reynolds

Date: Sunday 19th January
Venue: Stade Aime Giral
Kick-off: 1345 local, 1245 GMT
Referee: George Clancy (Ire)
Assistant referees: Mark Patton, Jonathan Peak (both Ire)
TMO: Alan Rogan (Ire)

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