Alex Brown will take over captains reigns from Jim Hamilton (rolled ankle)

Following a preseason campaign which saw Gloucester secure two victories from three outings, Director of Rugby Nigel Davies has named his first line up of the season, and it’s down to the serious matter of Aviva Premiership Rugby and the visit of the Saints.

Skipper Jim Hamilton is out of the opening fixture after rolling his ankle in training this week so fellow lock Alex Brown captains the side.

He leads a side that sees first Premiership starts for Gloucester the likes of Billy Twelvetrees, Dan Robson and Ben Morgan. Summer signings Huia Edmonds, Sione Kalamafoni and Martyn Thomas are named amongst the replacements.

Davies knows that Northampton will be a tough first opponent but that he’s happy with how his side are progressing.

“We’re as ready as we can be. We’ve had a good three months at it after lots of change over the summer – systems, structure, personnel. The preseason games were very important as we targeted certain things to achieve in them. We’ve learned a lot of lessons from them and gradually got better.

“They’re a very good side. I went to watch them in Edinburgh last week and they played very well. We’re a side who have been together for three months, they’re a side that’s been together for three years.

“They’ve had a lot of stability and have evolved their game. They’ll provide the sternest of challenges but that’s good. We know they’re coming and we’ve prepared for that.”

Gloucester v Northampton Saints
Saturday 1 september, at Kingsholm
Kick-off: 15:00 BST

Starting XV:
Jonny May; Charlie Sharples, Mike Tindall, Billy Twelvetrees, James Simpson-Daniel; Freddie Burns, Dan Robson; Nick Wood, Darren Dawidiuk, Rupert Harden; Tom Savage, Alex Brown (C); Matt Cox, Akapusi Qera, Ben Morgan

Dan Murphy, Huia Edmonds, Shaun Knight, Will James, Sione Kalamafoni, Dave Lewis, Henry Trinder, Martyn Thomas