All Black Cowan in line for Gloucester debut in West Country derby
NEW recruit Jimmy Cowan is in line to make his Gloucester debut in tomorrow’s West Country derby.
The All Black World Cup-winner arrived at Kingsholm last week and jumped straight into training this week.
The 30-year-old shifts straight from Super Rugby action with the Highlanders and New Zealand provincial battles with Southland to the bitter Gloucester-Bath rivalry.
The gritty scrum-half operates as an extra loose forward at times, and no doubt Gloucester boss Nigel Davies has taken that into consideration when naming him on the bench for tomorrow’s Premiership clash.
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England Under-20s graduate Dan Robson once again starts at nine, as he has every other contest so far this term.
So Dave Lewis is the man to make way for Cowan this weekend.
Gloucester entertain Bath at Kingsholm (kick-off 2.15pm), keen to extend their sequence of four-straight wins over their fierce foes.
Fit-again Ben Morgan returns to the back-row, but Andy Hazell is not ready to return.
Pete Buxton makes way for number eight Morgan, with Sione Kalamafoni shifting round to the blindside.
Gloucester boss Davies knows full well that derby intensity will affect the contest.
He explained: “This game will clearly come with more intensity and fire, and everyone accepts and relishes that.
“It’s what rugby in this county is all about, this rivalry.
“And we’ll be ready for that, there’s no danger.
“But we’ve also got to keep calm and collected, and play rationally as well as tapping into the emotion that makes you tick in games like this.”
Behind the scrum Henry Trinder partners Billy Twelvetrees at centre, facing up to Sam Vesty and Dan Hipkiss in Bath’s midfield.
Bath boss Gary Gold has handed a start to former Gloucester lock Dave Attwood, and his battle with Jim Hamilton should be intriguing.
GLOUCESTER: Rob Cook, Shane Monahan, Henry Trinder, Billy Twelvetrees, James Simpson-Daniel, Freddie Burns, Dan Robson, Nick Wood, Huia Edmonds, Rupert Harden, Tom Savage, Jim Hamilton (capt), Sione Kalamafoni, Akapusi Qera, Ben Morgan. Replacements: Koree Britton, Dan Murphy, Shaun Knight, Will James, Gareth Evans, Jimmy Cowan, Mike Tindall, Martyn Thomas.
BATH: Nick Abendanon, Kyle Eastmond, Dan Hipkiss, Sam Vesty, Tom Biggs, Stephen Donald, Michael Claassens, Paul James, Lee Mears (capt), Davey Wilson, Dominic Day, Dave Attwood, Carl Fearns, Ben Skirving, Simon Taylor. Replacements: Ross Batty, Nathan Catt, Anthony Perenise, Will Spencer, Will Skuse, Mark McMillan, Ollie Devoto, Jack Cuthbert.