Preview: Gloucester v Sale Sharks

23rd Nov 2012, 12:17

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Back at Kingsholm: Sharples

Back at Kingsholm: Sharples

Jim Hamilton returns from Scotland duty to lead Gloucester against Sale, while Charlie Sharples is back having been with England.

Jim Hamilton returns from Scotland duty to skipper Gloucester against Sale this week, while Charlie Sharples is back having been with England.

The return of Hamilton and Sharples helps to offset the loss of Ben Morgan who will start against South Africa for England at Twickenham.

However, the core of the team is the one that started against London Welsh last weekend.

Shane Monahan moves from the right wing to the left to accommodate the return of Sharples, while Hamilton lining up alongside Will James in the second row means that Tom Savage goes to 6.

Other changes see Dan Murphy start at loosehead instead of Nick Wood and Sione Kalamafoni returns from injury to replace Morgan.

Sale travel south occupying 12th place in the Aviva Premiership table. However, their form seems to have picked up in recent weeks.

As a result, Gloucester's Director of Rugby Nigel Davies stressed this week that Sale's league position is somewhat misleading, and that they shouldn't be underestimated.

"You look at their squad and they've an excellent squad of players. We have to respect that," he said.

"They'll be disappointed with where they are in the league and will be desperate for a win to get themselves back on track.

"We have total respect for them but, if we want to remain a top four team, then we have to prepare mentally, and turn up mentally in the right place, for every game we play.

"We've got good momentum going into the game. We've been able to rotate the squad a little bit in recent weeks. So, everyone has had a bit of game time and is fresh and raring to go."

Meanwhile, Sale have named their strongest side as they look to back up their opening victory over the Premiership season when they beat London Irish at Salford City Stadium.

Rob Miller returns to the full-back jersey while Charlie Amesbury comes in for Cameron Shepherd on the wing. With Johnny Leota away on international duty with Samoa, Will Addison is at 13 alongside Sam Tuitupou. David Seymour leads from the openside flank.

Form: Gloucester tripped up to table-topping Harlequins in round eight of the Aviva Premiership - only their second defeat in the competition this season. Gloucester have won their last six competitive matches at Kingsholm since Northampton won there on 1 September. Sale Sharks beat Saracens 25-23 at the Salford City Stadium in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Friday but have not won back-to-back games since April. The Sharks opened their winning account in this season's Aviva Premiership Rugby with a 21-9 home victory over London Irish in round eight. Sale achieved the Premiership double over Gloucester in 2011/12 but have not won on successive visits to Kingsholm since 1995-1996.

The teams:

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Shane Monahan, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Tom Savage, 5 Jim Hamilton (capt), 4 Will James, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Huia Edmonds, 1 Dan Murphy.
Replacements: 16 Koree Britton, 17 Nick Wood, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Peter Buxton, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Tim Molenaar, 23 Martyn Thomas.

Sale Sharks: 15 Rob Miller, 14 Charlie Amesbury, 13 Will Addison, 12 Sam Tuitupou, 11 Mark Cueto, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Dwayne Peel, 8 Andy Powell, 7 David Seymour (capt), 6 Richie Vernon, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Fraser McKenzie, 3 Tony Buckley, 2 Tommy Taylor, 1 Ross Harrison.
Replacements: 16 Joe Ward, 17 Eifion Lewis-Roberts, 18 Vadim Cobilas, 19 Tom Holmes, 20 James Gaskell, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Nick Macleod, 23 Cameron Shepherd.

Date: Saturday, November 24
Kick-off: 12:00
Venue: Kingsholm
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant referees: Stuart Terheege, Ashley Rowden
Television match official: Trevor Fisher
Timekeeper: Matthew Peters
Assessor: Paul Bridgman