Mark Atkinson starts for Gloucester against Leicester

Planet Rugby

Gloucester head coach George Skivington has announced his matchday 23 for their first home game of the Premiership season against Leicester Tigers.

There is continuity in the backline from Round One with Mark Atkinson, who has been called up to train with England, and Tom Seabrook being the only changes in the backs.

In the pack, the Cherry and Whites have made a few changes with Ed Slater coming in to strengthen the second-row and Ruan Ackermann starting at number eight.

The coaching staff have elected for a 6/2 split on the bench with Henry Walker, Jamal Ford-Robinson, Kirill Gotovtsev, Freddie Clarke, Wian Conradie and Jack Clement named as forward replacements with Stephen Varney and Adam Hastings covering the backs.

Unchanged Tigers front-row

Meanwhile, Tigers head coach Steve Borthwick has rolled out an unchanged front-row from last week’s win over Exeter, with club captain Ellis Genge, Nic Dolly and Dan Cole named to start.

In the second-row, Harry Wells is joined by Eli Snyman as the Zimbabwe-born lock makes his first start for Leicester.

George Martin, Tommy Reffell and Hanro Liebenberg complete the Tigers pack in an unchanged back-row.

Jack van Poortvliet, who came off the bench last weekend at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, partners George Ford at half-back, with Dan Kelly and Matt Scott retained in the Leicester midfield.

Freddie Steward is the full-back in the Leicester back three alongside wings Nemani Nadolo and Harry Potter.

After making their Tigers debuts on the opening weekend of the season, Tom-Cowan Dickie and Francois van Wyk are joined by Joe Heyes as the replacement front-rowers on the Leicester bench.

Calum Green and Ollie Chessum are the fellow forwards included on the bench, with Ben Youngs, Freddie Burns and Guy Porter the replacement backs.

Form: Gloucester Rugby have won their last three Gallagher Premiership Rugby matches played at Kingsholm excluding the declared defeat against Bath in June. Gloucester were defeated 20-34 at Northampton on Saturday and have not begun a campaign with a pair of defeats since 2013/14. Leicester Tigers’ only defeat in their last five Premiership Rugby encounters was 23-26 at home to Bristol in Round 21 last year. The Tigers have won their last two away games in the tournament at Worcester and at Wasps and have not won three in succession on their travels since May 2018. Gloucester won both fixtures when the two sides met last season, whilst Leicester’s only loss in their last five clashes with the Cherry and Whites was 46-30 at Kingsholm in August 2020.

The teams:

Gloucester: 15 Kyle Moyle, 14 Tom Seabrook, 13 Billy Twelvetrees, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 Lloyd Evans, 9 Ben Meehan, 8 Ruan Ackermann, 7 Lewis Ludlow (c), 6 Ben Morgan, 5 Andrew Davidson, 4 Ed Slater, 3 Fraser Balmain, 2 Jack Singleton, 1 Harry Elrington
Replacements: 16 Henry Walker, 17 Jamal Ford-Robinson, 18 Kirill Gotovtsev, 19 Freddie Clarke, 20 Wian Conradie, 21 Jack Clement, 22 Stephen Varney, 23 Adam Hastings

Leicester Tigers: 15 Freddie Steward, 14 Harry Potter, 13 Matt Scott, 12 Dan Kelly, 11 Nemani Nadolo, 10 George Ford, 9 Jack van Poortvliet, 8 Hanro Liebenberg, 7 Tommy Reffell, 6 George Martin, 5 Eli Snyman, 4 Harry Wells, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Nic Dolly, 1 Ellis Genge (c)
Replacements: 16 Tom Cowan-Dickie, 17 Francois van Wyk, 18 Joe Heyes, 19 Calum Green, 20 Ollie Chessum, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Guy Porter

Venue: Kingsholm
Kick-off: 19:45 BST (18:45 GMT)
Referee: Tom Foley
Assistant Referees: Anthony Woodthorpe, Paul Dix
TMO: Wayne Barnes