Hill majes several changes to Bristol vs Gloucester

Bristol Rugby Head Coach Richard Hill makes several changes to his team for the short trip to Gloucester to take on the Guinness Premiership leaders on Saturday.


The squad are in good spirits following the fine performance against London Wasps last Saturday but Hill has acknowledged the need to manage his squad during this busy period.


There are two changes to the pack. Returning to the starting line up are hooker Scott Linklater and prop Darren Crompton.


In addition, there are three changes to the back line with Jason Strange failing to recover fully from the injury suffered when he was late tackled last weekend.


Accordingly, All Black David Hill returns at fly half meaning that fellow New Zealander Neil Brew misses out due to the ‘foreigner’ ruling.

 

Sam Cox therefore returns to partner Rob Higgitt in the centre and the final change sees Samoan wing David Lemi return after a knock forced him to withdraw late from last weekend’s match.


Richard admitted that this weekend’s game will be a challenge and expressed his admiration for what has been achieved at Kingsholm in recent times.


“Wasps last week had been our biggest test of the season so far. This week I think will be more difficult, away from home. We try and treat home and away the same but it is naturally easier with your home crowd behind you.”


“But the attitude has been good. It’s a big game and a very exciting one to come back to after Christmas although we could have had an easier one!”


“Gloucester have done terrifically well over the past few seasons. They’re playing well and it’s going well off the pitch as well with a great stadium. They’ve amassed a heck of a squad, I think we’re all a little bit envious of the money that’s been going into that squad.”


“They’ve also brought young players through which is probably the most impressive aspect. They look confident and appear to be enjoying their rugby. They can kick, they can run the ball and are quite rightly one of the best teams in the Premiership at the moment.”


“But we know that, had we kicked our goals, we’d have beaten Wasps last week. It was possibly the best we’ve played all season. It was disappointing not to win but we’re moving in the right direction.”


“The boys have put Christmas behind them and come back in very enthusiastically. We’ve had a terrific training session this morning so, on that basis, I think we’re in good shape and ready to go.”


Bristol Rugby:


Luke Arscott; Tom Arscott, Rob Higgitt, Sam Cox, David Lemi; David Hill, Brian O’Riordan; Alex Clarke, Scott Linklater, Darren Crompton; Roy Winters, Sean Hohneck; Matt Salter (capt), Alfie To’oala, Andrew Blowers


Replacements:


Mark Regan, Dave Hilton, Dave Attwood, Joe El Abd, Haydn Thomas, Ed Barnes, Anthony Elliott.

 

Rugbyweek.com

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