Planet Rugby

Preview: Sale Sharks v Gloucester

11th April 2013 12:33

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gloucester v sale Billy Twelvetrees

Starter: Billy Twelvetrees

Gloucester have made five changes for their trip to Salford City Stadium to face Sale Sharks in the Aviva Premiership on Friday.

Director of Rugby Nigel Davies keeps faith with the majority of the pack who started against Biarritz in the Amlin Challenge Cup last weekend, with the return of hooker Huia Edmonds to the starting line up the only change.

The back line sees more changes as Dan Robson, Shane Monahan, Billy Twelvetrees and Rob Cook are all restored to the starting line up. For Monahan, a try scorer against Biarritz, it's a first start since February 2nd.

Amongst the replacements, there is a welcome return to the matchday squad for England international number eight Ben Morgan, who injured an ankle while on Six Nations duty with England.

Speaking to the local media after the game, Forwards Coach Carl Hogg stressed that the squad has quickly put the European defeat behind them.

"Our focus is now obviously on the Aviva Premiership, and we have a huge opportunity. We've got three games left and we're sitting in fifth place, which is a good position," said Hogg.

"Sale is the first obstacle on Friday night, and it will be a big challenge for us. But, if we show the same level resilience and team spirit that we have over the course of the Premiership season, then we'll be in with a shout.

"We want to finish the season on a high. It'd be great to finish in the top four, but we have to get our performance right on the pitch.

"Sale are playing with a bit more confidence in recent weeks, they've had one or two results. But Friday night is about us, and the way we perform. We were disappointed after last Thursday night, and hopefully we'll see a reaction at Sale."

Meanwhile, Sale make only one change from the 23 that played so well at London Irish and earned three points in a thrilling 33 all draw. Will Addison comes in on the right wing in place of Charlie Amesbury.

Form: Sale are unbeaten in two in the Aviva Premiership and have lost just three of their last eight to sit eight points above bottom club London Welsh in 11th in the table. However the Sharks have not managed three matches without defeat in the Aviva Premiership since September 2011 and meet a Gloucester outfit on form themselves. The Cherry & Whites have won three of their last four Aviva Premiership fixtures and are very much in contention to finish in the top four, sitting level on points with fourth-placed Northampton Saints. Gloucester haven't won away from home in the Aviva Premiership since their 27-11 defeat of Northampton on February 9 and haven't done the double over Sale for more than a decade.

Sale Sharks: 15 Cameron Shepherd, 14 Will Addison, 13 Johnny Leota, 12 Sammy Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Nick Macleod, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 James Gaskell, 7 David Seymour (c), 6 Daniel Braid, 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 4 Kearnan Myall, 3 Henry Thomas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Al Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Tommy Taylor, 17 Ross Harrison, 18 Tony Buckley, 19 Tom Holmes, 20 Andy Powell, 21 Nathan Fowles, 22 Danny Cipriani, 23 Tom Brady

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

Date: Friday, 12 April
Venue: Salford City Stadium
Kick-off: 19:45
Referee: David Rose
Assistant referees: Robin Goodliffe & Roy Maybank
TMO: David Grashoff

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Northampton vs Exeter19:45
Gloucester vs Harlequins19:45
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Sale vs London Irish14:00
Bath vs Newcastle17:00
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Leicester vs Saracens13:00
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