Preview: Gloucester v Sale Sharks

Date published: September 12 2014

Gloucester have named an unchanged matchday squad for their clash against Sale Sharks at Kingsholm on Saturday.

Gloucester have named an unchanged matchday squad for their clash against Sale Sharks at Kingsholm on Saturday.

It means that the 23 men who were on duty in the season opening loss at Northampton Saints last Friday are entrusted with turning things around in front of their own crowd.

Still absent is long term knee injury victim Gareth Evans, while Matt Kvesic and Nick Wood, although they have trained this week, are not quite ready for match action.

Speaking to the local media this week, director of rugby David Humphreys said that last week's defeat had been disappointing but that there were parts of the performance to build upon.

“No-one involved in professional sport likes to lose by the margin that we lost,” he explained.

“But there were definitely some elements of the game that we were pleased with.

“We'll just keep working away. We've a very clear plan on what we want to do. We know how good our players are, we know how much experience and knowledge exists within the coaching team.

“Given time, there will be improvements.”

Humphreys also admitted that they've done their due diligence on this weekend's visitors, but that the focus had been mainly on what Gloucester need to do.

“We've done some analysis on Sale,” he added.

“But, at this early stage of the season, you've only one game to look at because you can't really judge anything from preseason friendlies.

“Sale were competitive against Bath. We know what they will bring this weekend. But for us, it's very much about what we've got to do.

“We've got to continue to work on the areas of the game that we know we can improve upon.

“There are certain areas of the pitch we want to play in, a certain style we want to implement and add on from last week.

“If we can do some of the things that we did last week with a bit more accuracy, then we're all looking forward to it.”

Meanwhile, Sale Sharks hooker Marc Jones will make his 100th Premiership appearance in the game, whilst Georgian number two Shalva Mamukashvili will make his debut if enters the field from the replacements bench.

Captain Dan Braid (ankle) and Mark Cueto (foot) both miss out through injury but both are only short term injuries as are Jonny Leota and Sammy Tuitupou.

Braid's absence means that fellow flanker David Seymour takes over the captaincy.

Form: Gloucester suffered their heaviest ever Aviva Premiership defeat at Northampton on Friday losing 53-6. Gloucester's only loss in their last four Premiership encounters at Kingsholm was 17-18 to Bath in round 19 last season. Sale Sharks' only victory in their last five Premiership fixtures was 55-12 at Exeter in April. The Sharks were defeated at London Irish in May in their most recent away game to end a five game winning run on the road in the Premiership. Gloucester have beaten Sale just once in their last six Premiership encounters: 29-3 at Kingsholm in November 2012, whilst Sale have been victorious on two of their last three visits to the famous old venue.

The teams:

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Billy Twelvetrees (c), 11 Jonny May, 10 James Hook, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Jacob Rowan, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 James Hudson, 4 Tom Savage, 3 John Afoa, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Dan Murphy.
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Sila Puafisi, 19 Tom Palmer, 20 Ross Moriarty, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Mark Atkinson, 23 Steve McColl.

Sale Sharks: 15 Luke Mclean, 14 Tom Brady, 13 Will Addison, 12 Mark Jennings, 11 Tom Arscott,10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Chris Cusiter, 8 Mark Easter, 7 David Seymour (c), 6 Michael Paterson, 5 Jonathan Mills, 4 Nathan Hines, 3 Vadim Cobilas, 2 Marc Jones, 1 Ross Harrison
Replacements: 16 Shalva Mamukashvili, 17 Alberto de Marchi, 18 Eifion Lewis Roberts, 19 Andrei Ostrikov, 20 Magnus Lund, 21 Will Cliff, 22 Joe Ford, 23 Andy Forsyth

Date: Saturday, September 13
Kick-off: 15:00 BST
Venue: Kingsholm
Referee: Greg Garner
Assistant Referees: Stuart Terheege, Kelvin Stewart
TMO: David Sainsbury