Able to call upon the services of a host of players returning from injury and international call ups, Gloucester Rugby Head Coach Bryan Redpath rings the changes for Saturday’s Aviva Premiership Rugby clash at Harlequins.
The majority of the changes are in the pack. Only skipper Luke Narraway maintains the same starting position from last Sunday’s LV= Cup final win over Newcastle although Akapui Qera moves from blindside to openside.
A completely new front row of Alasdair Dickinson, Scott Lawson and Paul Doran-Jones will pack down supported by a new look second row of Dave Attwood and Will James.
It will be Dickinson’s first appearance since November 4thas he returns from a shoulder injury and Attwood’s first start since December 19th.
Also back is flanker Alasdair Strokosch who returns from Six Nations duty with Scotland.
The backs are more settled although Freddie Burns gets a run out at full back in place of Olly Morgan and Scotland international scrum half Rory Lawson returns.
Head Coach Redpath admitted this week that having more players involved this week has been a huge bonus.
“The guys returning are a boost. It’s added an edge to training and that’s a key thing really. This time of year you have a lot of knocks and niggles but we’ve got people putting their hand up and wanting to play and that’s what you want.”
He is also well aware of where some of the main Harlequins threats are:
“I think the eight, nine, ten link at Quins has probably been the best in the Premiership. I think Nick Evans is an exceptional runner and a great goal kicker.”
“You harness that with Danny Care’s free rein around the free kicks and penalties and his eye for the half gap and Nick Easter has got a great work ethic. People tend to overlook that.”
“It could be a high tempo encounter. They always seem to be high scoring encounters between us.”
Freddie Burns; Charlie Sharples, Tim Molenaar, Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, Tom Voyce; Nicky Robinson, Rory Lawson; Alasdair Dickinson, Scott Lawson, Paul Doran-Jones; Will James, Dave Attwood; Alasdair Strokosch, Akapusi Qera, Luke Narraway (capt)
Olivier Azam, Yann Thomas, Rupert Harden, Alex Brown, Matt Cox, Jordi Pasqualin, Henry Trinder, Jonny