Gloucester Rugby: Ben Morgan is back to face Munster
BEN Morgan can lead the charge of Gloucester's itchy- feet brigade out in Munster tonight, believes boss Nigel Davies.
Number eight Morgan starts the Thomond Park Heineken Cup clash (6pm), after sitting out last weekend's 27-22 Perpignan victory. Rugby director Davies admitted he was frustrated some viewed Morgan's omission for that match as the England loose-forward suffering the axe.
The Gloucester boss had been at pains to explain his bold two-week selection strategy of fielding his full squad across the opening Heineken Cup fortnight. Had Henry Trinder not suffered a slight hamstring niggle and Freddie Burns avoided illness last week, Billy Twelvetrees would have joined Morgan in the Kingsholm stands for the Perpignan clash.
Instead British Lion Twelvetrees stepped into the void to star at fly-half. It might have left Morgan exposed from the outside looking in, but Davies rejects any notion the ex-Scarlets wrecking-ball was overlooked on form last week.
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Backing the ex-Dursley junior to terrorise the Munster defence tonight, Davies said Morgan is raring to go in Limerick.
Davies explained: "I suppose it is a little frustrating, I guess it's frustrating for someone like Ben. But then there is strong competition for places, particularly in that back-row.
"We can afford to rotate and we should expect high levels of performance every time we do that because we have real quality players there.
"I've noticed definitely an extra step in Ben's movements this week, because he's been chomping at the bit, like a lot of them have, for this opportunity.
"They've seen what the bulk of the team that played last weekend did, and these guys want to do exactly the same. So I think it's a reasonably strong position to be in, to be able to do that.
"And I really think, if those two teams were able to play against each other, it would be one heck of a good game."
Davies told the players of his Munster squad selection in advance of the Perpignan match.
Jonny Bentley steps in at fly-half , while Will James slots into the second row and will captain the side.
Gloucester: Martyn Thomas; Charlie Sharples, Mike Tindall, Ryan Mills, Jonny May; Jonny Bentley, Dan Robson; Dan Murphy, Darren Dawidiuk, Rupert Harden; Lua Lokotui, Will James (capt); Matt Cox, Akapusi Qera, Ben Morgan. Reps: Dan George, Yann Thomas, James Gibbons, James Hudson, Gareth Evans, Tavis Knoyle, Freddie Burns, Rob Cook