London Irish v Gloucester Rugby team news
NIGEL Davies has rung the pack changes for Gloucester’s trip to the Madejski Stadium to face London Irish tomorrow.
The Cherry and Whites rugby director brings in five new faces and makes one positional change to the side that lost 24-19 at home to Northampton last week in their season opener.
Most notably is the return of new club captain Jim Hamilton, who was sent off in the corresponding fixture in May and missed out last week because of an ankle injury.
Hamilton joins Will James in the engine room as Tom Savage moves to the blindside flank and Andy Hazell comes in on the openside after impressing in the A League crushing of Worcester on Monday.
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Second-half replacement Shaun Knight switches with Rupert Harden to make his first Aviva Premiership start with Henry Trinder replacing Mike Tindall in the backs’ only switch.
With the majority of the changes being made in the forwards it is clear Davies is looking for a better showing from his pack after they earned a penalty try in the scrum last week against the Saints.
Irish also got off to a losing start after being demolished 40-3 by Saracens as part of the London Double Header at Twickenham but Davies is not paying too much attention to that result.
“It’s really about focusing on us. We’ve looked at London Irish and their game last weekend and they won’t be taking too much out of it,” said the Welshman.
“They’re definitely going to bounce back and be stronger because they’re at home. They’ll be disappointed with last weekend and we can’t read too much into it.
“It’s more really a case, and it always has been anyway, about us looking at ourselves and making sure we get our game right. If we do that, then we’ll progress.
“It’s been a difficult squad to select. We’ve got a lot of players who are performing at a similar level. It’s very competitive. But that’s great because they’ll all drive each other on.”
Gloucester Rugby: Jonny May; Charlie Sharples, Henry Trinder, Billy Twelvetrees, James Simpson-Daniel; Freddie Burns, Dan Robson; Nick Wood, Darren Dawidiuk, Shaun Knight; Will James, Jim Hamilton (capt); Tom Savage, Andy Hazell, Ben Morgan. Replacements: Huia Edmonds, Dan Murphy, Rupert Harden, Sione Kalamafoni, Akapusi Qera, Dave Lewis, Mike Tindall, Martyn Thomas