Planet Rugby

Preview: Bordeaux v Gloucester

10th January 2013 09:47

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SKY_MOBILE Jonny May - Gloucester Aviva Premiership

Back for Gloucester: Jonny May

Victory over Bordeaux-Begles in France on Friday will ensure Gloucester a place in the Amlin Challenge Cup quarter finals.

Gloucester are looking to make it five wins from five in the competition this season. They also have the incentive of home advantage in the last eight to spur them on in their double French tests. They go to Stade André Moga in Round 5 to take on Raphael Ibanez's Bordeaux-Begles before ending the group stages at home to Mont de Marsan.

The best four Pool winners earn home advantage in April's quarter-finals with Bath leading that chase on 20 points, Stade Franais next best on 19 and Gloucester currently another point adrift.

However, despite having defeated the French side 25-13 at Kingsholm in October, Director of Rugby Nigel Davies is taking nothing for granted and has named a strong side.

Jonny May returns for his first appearance since late September, while Henry Trinder last played in Mont de Marsan - the week before that previous Bordeaux meeting.

Also returning to the starting line up are Tim Molenaar, Dan Robson, Darren Dawidiuk, Dario Chistolini and skipper Jim Hamilton.

Talking to the local media ahead of the team's departure, Davies expressed his hope that he'll see a real reaction following last Saturday's defeat against London Irish.

"Europe is a difficult arena, whether you're in the Amlin Challenge Cup or the Heineken Cup.

"I always stressed how important the middle two games against London Irish would be, and we came out on the right side of those two games.

"Now we have to hammer home our momentum in this tournament, and we have to go to Bordeaux and get a result. It's as simple as that.

"I think we've got a very good team, an exciting team. And we're expecting to perform."

Bordeaux have lost each of their last six matches in this tournament, though the last three have been settled by margins of 12 points or less. Should they lose this match, it would extend their worst losing record in this tournament.

Gloucester's Freddie Burns has 41 points in two appearances in the Amlin Challenge Cup this season, only Joe Carlisle of Worcester Warriors has more.

The teams:

Bordeaux-Begles: 15 Lachie Munro, 14 Rafael Carballo, 13 Charles Brousse, 12 Michel Denetre, 11 Thierry Brana, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Julien Seron, 8 Damien Larrieu, 7 Rohan Kitshoff, 6 Gauthier Gibouin, 5 François Tisseau, 4 Andrew Chauveau, 3 Tamato Leupolu, 2 Hikairo Forbes, 1 Jefferson Poirot.
Replacements: 16 Fabien Rofes, 17 Franck Labbe, 18 Nicolas Descamps, 19 Carolis Navickas, 20 Hugh Chalmers, 21 Félix Le Bourhis, 22 Baptiste Serin, 23 Louis Madaule.

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Tim Molenaar, 11 Jonny May, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 Will James, 4 Jim Hamilton (capt), 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Huia Edmonds, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Peter Buxton, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Mike Tindall, 23 Martyn Thomas.

Date: Friday, January 11
Kick-off: 20:00 (19:00 GMT)
Venue: Stade André Moga
Referee: Andrew McMenemy (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Peter Allan (Scotland), Bob Nevins (Scotland)
Timekeeper: Bernard Perez (France)
Assessor: Eric Darriere (France)

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