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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





Sale Sharks have agreed a deal to sign Fiji captain Waisea Nayacalevu from French Top14 side Toulon. 

The explosive centre, who starred for his country during the recent World Cup, has signed a one-year contract with an option for a further year. 

He will join up with Alex Sanderson’s Sharks squad ahead of the start of the 2024/25 Gallagher Premiership season. 

Waisea, 33, said: “I’ve watched the Premiership for a long time and it’s always been in the back of my mind that I would love to play there one day and experience rugby in England. 

“Now that opportunity has arrived and I’m really, really happy and grateful. I’m so excited to get over there and join the boys and see how I can contribute to the team. 

“I have spoken to Telusa Veainu and he only has positive things to say about the club and about Manchester. 

“I’m looking forward to playing with some of the guys I’ve played against, like Tom Curry and George Ford. But I also know there are a lot of really talented young players in the Sale Sharks squad and I’m excited to share my experience and help them develop as much as I can.  

“I told Alex that it’s what I’ve been doing for the last few years of my career and it’s something I’m passionate about.” 

Nayacalevu, who stands at 6’4” and weighs in at 16st 7lb, spent ten years at Top14 side Stade Français before making the switch to Toulon in 2022.  

He has won 34 caps for Fiji, slotting in at both centre and on the wing, and captained his country at last year’s World Cup, where the Pacific Islanders made the quarter-finals, losing 30-24 to England in Marseille. 

He also famously scored for Fiji in their memorable pre-World Cup win against England at Twickenham. 

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby

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Falcons star to join Saracens



Phil Brantingham to join Saracens

Tuesday 05 March 2024 Written by: Tom Grisedale

Prop-forward Phil Brantingham will leave Newcastle Falcons in the summer to join Saracens.

The 22-year-old has played 25 games for his home town club, and leaves with the thanks and best wishes of everyone at the Falcons.

Chairman of rugby Matt Thompson said: “Phil has done well for us and we made him a good offer to stay here.

“We respect his decision and wish him all the best for his move in the summer, but between now and then he will be fully committed to finishing the season strongly for Newcastle Falcons.”

Source – Newcastle Falcons Rugby

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Sale Sharks can confirm that forward Cobus Wiese will leave the club at the end of the season to return to South Africa. 

The 26-year-old lock has played almost 80 games for the club and scored five tries since joining from the DHL Stormers ahead of the 2020/21 season. 

He played a key role last year as Sale reached the Premiership final, and this season he has featured a further 13 times for Alex Sanderson’s side. 

Alex said: “Cobus will be missed by all of us on so many levels. He’s the most polite and courteous of people off the field, but the most wildly excitable man on the field, and on a night out. 

“To say Cobus wears his heart on his sleeve is to do him a disservice with regards to his emotional commitment for which his body has paid the price on occasion.  

“He leads by example and has earnt the respect and adoration of the group both on a professional and a personal level. We wish him every success and happiness with his move back home.” 

Everyone at Sale Sharks would like to thank Cobus for his contribution to the club and the team during his time here and we wish him all the very best for the future.  

Images & Content from Sale Sharks Rugby

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