Scrum half Dave Lewis will make his first appearance since mid February while Brett Deacon is named captain on his return to his former club as Gloucester Rugby face up to the Leicester Tigers on Saturday.
It’s a big game, between two of the top four sides in the table as things stand, and the first fixture in a tough week for Gloucester which also sees them take on Northampton Saints and Saracens. Lewis’ return following a knee injury is one of two changes to the back line from last weekend’s defeat at Sale with Eliota Fuimoano-Sapolu replacing Tim Molenaar in midfield the other.
There are more changes to the pack as Alasdair Dickinson, Rupert Harden, Will James, Matt Cox, Andy Hazell and Brett Deacon are all restored to the starting line up. Leicester bowed out of the Heineken Cup last weekend as a result of their defeat to Leinster leaving them just the Aviva Premiership to focus on this season.
At Welford Road, they are a formidable foe something Gloucester Head Coach Bryan Redpath is well aware of.
“Leicester play more rugby than people in the past have given them credit for. But they obviously rely on their scrum power and are very efficient on that front. But they’ve got some good ball players too: just look at Flood and Youngs. If you give them space they will exploit it.”
And improvement in defence is a must this weekend for Gloucester according to Redpath.
“We must focus on ourselves a bit more and understand that we have a big say in what happens in attack and defence. Some parts of it are just hard work and we have to help ourselves defensively.”
“Defensively we were poor last weekend. We defended as individuals and we must get back to defending as a team, and helping inside and outside shoulders. It’s a real challenge, because Leicester generally score tries at
Olly Morgan; Jonny May, Henry Trinder, Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, Tom Voyce; Freddie Burns, Dave Lewis; Alasdair Dickinson, Scott Lawson, Rupert Harden; Will James, Dave Attwood; Matt Cox, Andy Hazell, Brett Deacon (capt)
Olivier Azam, Nick Wood, Paul Doran-Jones, Alex Brown, Alasdair Strokosch, Rory Lawson, Tim Taylor, Tim Molenaar