Gloucester v Sale Sharks LV=Cup preview

Sale Sharks have made eight changes, one positional, in their starting side for the Anglo Welsh LV= Cup game against holders Gloucester at Kingsholm tomorrow.

Centre Luther Burrell makes his competitive debut, and there could be two more first appearances if internationals Tony Buckley and Johnny Leota come off the bench.

James Gaskell switches from flanker to lock, whilst there are first starts for Scots internationals Richie Vernon and Alasdair Dickinson, who faces his former club for the second week running .

Sharks’ Executive Director of Sport Steve Diamond said, “We have selected our strongest possible side but it will be a different challenge from last weekend, as there will be 13,000 people, including the Shed, screaming for Gloucester. With the players who have come back from the World Cup, we hope to have stronger element to our forward game, which will hopefully improve us.

“The LV= Cup is a very important competition for us and we are taking it very seriously. It offers a quick route into the Heineken Cup and significant prize money. We know tomorrow’s game will be a very big challenge for us and that Gloucester will be formidable opponents.”

Only seven Gloucester players have kept their place in the starting line up from last weekend’s game against the same opponent.

Gloucester start their defence of the LV= Cup with a home fixture against Sale who were the victors last weekend when the two sides met at Edgeley Park in the Aviva Premiership.

From that game only Tom Savage, Will James, Brett Deacon, Luke Narraway, Henry Trinder, Charlie Sharples and Jonny May retain their places in the starting line up.

Narraway, who assumes the captaincy, and May change positions. Narraway moves across to number eight from the blindside flank while May is named at full back instead of centre.

So, up front, there is a new look front row in Dan Murphy, Matias Cortese and Dario Chistolini and Matt Cox returns at openside.

Dave Lewis and Freddie Burns take over at half back and James Simpson-Daniel and Lesley Vainikolo also return to the starting line up.

Meanwhile, all four of Gloucester’s World Cup squad are named amongst the replacements. Scott Lawson, Jim Hamilton, Alasdair Strokosch and Rory Lawson are all set for their first outing in the Cherry and White this season.

Redpath is hoping Gloucester put last weekend’s defeat behind them and start to perform as they can.

“Hopefully we can have a go this weekend and show what we’re really capable of and overcome the fear of going out to win the game rather than trying to protect the game. We fell into that a wee bit last week.”

“We’re not playing enough in the right areas. We’ve not done that enough which is perhaps a few nerves from the first six rounds of the Premiership and some of the young players have never had that sort of exposure before.”

“Saturday is a chance for us to reintroduce a few of our World Cup players and also to express ourselves a little bit more. We’ve been pretty sound defensively, Quins apart, but haven’t really found our feet in attack.”

“It’s irrelevant who Sale pick, it’s all about us, who we use and how we approach our own game.”

Match : Gloucester v Sale Sharks
Date :Saturday 15 October
Venue : Kingsholm
Kick off : 15.00


Gloucester Rugby

Jonny May; Charlie Sharples, Henry Trinder, Lesley Vainikolo, James Simpson-Daniel; Freddie Burns, Dave Lewis; Dan Murphy, Matias Cortese, Dario Chistolini; Tom Savage, Will James; Brett Deacon, Matt Cox, Luke Narraway (capt)

Replacements:Scott Lawson, Yann Thomas, Shaun Knight, Jim Hamilton, Alasdair Strokosch, Rory Lawson, Tim Taylor, Tom Voyce

Sale Sharks: 15.Rob Miller, 14.Tom Brady, 13.Andrew Higgins, 1

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