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Gloucester Rugby side for final Heineken Champions Cup pool game named



Gloucester Rugby Head Coach, George Skivington, has named his side for tomorrow’s crucial European encounter against Bordeaux in France.

There are six changes to the starting XV that were beaten by former Heineken Cup champions Leinster at Kingsholm last weekend, as the Cherry & Whites chase a last 16 place.

Val Rapava-Ruskin, George McGuigan and Kirill Gotovtsev, who put Leinster’s all-international front-row to the test last weekend, start in an unchanged front-row. 

Cam Jordan replaces Freddie Clarke in the second-row, with Clarke dropping to the bench. Jordan packs down alongside Argentine Matias Alemanno.

Albert Tuisue, who was Heineken Star of the Match when the two sides met before Christmas, comes back into the back-row. He starts at number 8, with Jack Clement and captain Lewis Ludlow on the flanks. Tuisue & Clement come in for Ben Morgan and Ruan Ackermann who both picked up knocks in the Leinster game. 

Stephen Varney who scored the Cherry & Whites opening try against Bordeaux last month starts at scrum-half, and club stalwart Billy Twelvetrees comes in at fly-half replacing Santi Carreras who misses out through injury.  

As the final change, Georgian international Giorgi Kveseladze comes in at outside centre to partner Seb Atkinson who wears the 12 shirt once more. Ollie Thorley, Jonny May and George Barton start in an unchanged back-three to last weekend. 

On the bench, there is a welcome return for prop Jamal Ford Robinson after injury. He joins Seb Blake, Harry Elrington, Freddie Clarke, Freddie Thomas, Charlie Chapman, Jack Reeves and Lloyd Evans.

Starting XV 

15. George Barton*

14. Jonny May*

13. Giorgi Kveseladze

12. Seb Atkinson*

11. Ollie Thorley*

10. Billy Twelvetrees

9. Stephen Varney*


1. Val Rapava-Ruskin

2. George McGuigan

3. Kirill Gotovtsev

4. Cam Jordan*

5. Matias Alemanno

6. Jack Clement*

7. Lewis Ludlow* (c)

8. Albert Tuisue



16. Seb Blake*

17. Harry Elrington

18. Jamal Ford-Robinson

19. Freddie Clarke*

20. Freddie Thomas*

21. Charlie Chapman*

22. Jack Reeves*

23. Lloyd Evans*

*Denotes academy player or graduate.

Injury update

Following Gloucester Rugby’s injury update earlier this month, Gloucester Rugby can confirm that Ben Morgan, Ruan Ackermann, and Santi Carreras all miss out through injury this weekend resulting in the following unavailable list:

Mark Atkinson, Santi Socino, Alex Craig, Louis Rees-Zammit, Adam Hastings, Jordy Reid, Fraser Balmain, Jack Singleton, Mayco Vivas, Ruan Ackermann, Ben Morgan, Santi Carreras.


Content & Images from – Gloucester Rugby


Irish name side for west London derby



Declan Kidney has confirmed the squad for Sunday’s derby clash with Harlequins at the Gtech Community Stadium in Round 16 of the Gallagher Premiership (3pm kick-off).

Will Goodrick-Clarke, Agustin Creevy and Oliver Hoskins are in the front row, with Rob Simmons and Adam Coleman in the second row.

Matt Rogerson captains the side from the six jersey and is joined in the back row by Tom Pearson and Chandler Cunningham-South.

Ben White and Paddy Jackson link up to form the halfback duo, and Rory Jennings partners Benhard van Rensburg in the centres.

Michael Dykes, Lucio Cinti and James Stokes complete the line-up as the back three.

“Whenever these two clubs pitch up against one another, it always creates a good game of rugby,” said Declan Kidney, Director of Rugby.

“I know that we are expecting a good crowd at the Gtech Community Stadium on Sunday, and they will inevitably create a great atmosphere.

“We need to make sure that we put in a full 80-minute performance to give our supporters a reason to show their voice. Harlequins are a well-drilled side, and we know it will be a difficult challenge this weekend, but one we look forward to.”

London Irish:
15 James Stokes, 14 Lucio Cinti, 13 Benhard van Rensburg, 12 Rory Jennings, 11 Michael Dykes, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Ben White, 1 Will Goodrick-Clarke, 2 Agustin Creevy, 3 Oliver Hoskins, 4 Rob Simmons, 5 Adam Coleman, 6 Matt Rogerson (c), 7 Tom Pearson, 8 Chandler Cunningham-South.

16 Mike Willemse, 17 Danilo Fischetti, 18 Ciaran Parker, 19 Api Ratuniyarawa, 20 Juan Martin Gonzalez, 21 Joe Powell, 22 Luca Morisi, 23 Henry Arundell.

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Content & Images from – London Irish Rugby

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Baxter issues Moon injury update



Exeter Chiefs

By Mark Stevens

Rob Baxter says he cannot give a timescale as to when prop Ben Moon will return to the Exeter Chiefs match-day squad.

The 33-year-old forward is currently Exeter’s longest-serving player, having made his debut in 2008 away to Sedgley Park, and is the last remaining member of their 2009-10 promotion squad.

The England international, however, has not featured for the Devon club since coming off the bench against Munster in last April’s Heineken Champions Cup clash at Sandy Park.

Asked by the media this week about Moon, the Chiefs’ Director of Rugby said: “I wouldn’t hold out hope that he’s going to be appearing soon. It’s been a challenge for Ben for a little period of time now, it’s not just been this season.

“He’s had periods in and out with it, it’s something that’s been affecting him for a little while and because of what it is we just have to be very careful with it.”

Moon has featured in all six of Exeter’s Premiership final appearances at Twickenham – and he also played in the 2020 European Champions Cup final win over Racing 92, and Exeter’s first major final when they beat Northampton Saints to win the 2014 LV Cup.

Moon won eight England caps in the 2018-19 season, but did not make the squad for that autumn’s World Cup in Japan.

“He’s still active around the club, he’s still here, he’s in training, he’s continuing very hard with his rehab and getting everything else he can right, but we’ve just got to be really careful around that neck.

“It’s probably one of those things where it’s getting to the stage where there’s not a lot more we can do. I can’t talk for Ben about his future, but you’re not going to see him in the immediate future on the pitch.”

Content & Images from – Exeter Chiefs Rugby

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TEAM NEWS – Sale Sharks v Bath Rugby



South African talisman Rob du Preez is set to make his 100th Sharks appearance whilst Alex Groves is in line for his Gallagher Premiership debut as Alex Sanderson names his side to face Bath Rugby at the AJ Bell Stadium tomorrow night. (Kick-off 7:45pm – Live on BT Sport) 

Sanderson makes seven changes to the Sale starting line-up as his squad returns to Gallagher Premiership action following defeat at the hands of Ulster in the Champions Cup. 

In the forwards, there is a complete change of the Sharks front-row as Simon McIntyre, Tommy Taylor and Nick Schonert all return to face Bath.  

Cobus Wiese links back up with Josh Beaumont in the second row following a one-match suspension for a dangerous tackle in the Sharks’ clash with Toulouse two weeks ago. 

Jono Ross captains the side in the absence of Ben Curry, whilst Sam Dugdale steps in to replace the flanker after his England call up to Steve Borthwick’s England squad. Jean-Luc du Preez retains the number 8 shirt with twin-brother Dan remaining on the side lines due to an ongoing hand injury. 

Gus Warr continues to provide a platform for success at scrum-half and links up with centurion Rob du Preez, who is named at fly-half. 

The ever-present Sam James retains the thirteen shirt with Ryan Mills picked at inside centre in the absence of Manu Tuilagi. The former Wasps centre is one of two changes in the Sharks’ back line. 

Sanderson’s second change in the backs comes in the form of Tom Roebuck, who replaces Arron Reed on the wing after an impressive cameo in the Champions Cup. Tom O’Flaherty is named on the other wing, with exciting academy graduate Joe Carpenter at full-back. 

On the bench, Ewan Ashman, Ross Harrison and Joe Jones are named as front-row replacements, with Alex Groves and Rouban Birch providing further cover for the forwards. Raffi Quirke, Luke James and Arron Reed cover the backs. 

Sale Sharks Starting XV: 

15. Joe Carpenter, 14. Tom Roebuck, 13. Sam James, 12. Ryan Mills, 11. Tom O’Flaherty, 10. Robert du Preez, 9. Gus Warr; 1. Simon McIntyre, 2. Tommy Taylor, 3. Nick Schonert, 4. Cobus Wiese, 5. Josh Beaumont, 6. Jono Ross (c), 7. Sam Dugdale, 8. Jean-Luc du Preez 


16. Ewan Ashman, 17. Ross Harrison, 18. Joe Jones, 19. Alex Groves, 20. Rouban Birch, 21. Raffi Quirke, 22. Luke James, 23. Arron Reed 

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby

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