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Gloucester v Worcester preview: Both sides looking to bounce back

  • Gloucester faces Worcester in the south-west derby on Saturday: 2pm kick off
  • Tevita Cavubati is set to make his Premiership debut for Worcester
  • Ross Moriarty returns from international duty with Wales for the Cherry and Whites 
Gloucester takes on Worcester Warriors in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday, with both teams hoping to bounce back after suffering defeats last time out

The Cherry and Whites could have stolen a victory in front of the Shed, but narrowly lost out 17-15 to Saracens. Worcester, on the other hand, lost 27-13 to Sharks last Friday night. The Warriors had shocked everyone a week prior with their opening day victory against Northampton.

Gloucester makes one change for the clash, with Welsh international flanker Ross Moriarty lining up on the blindside flank.

He takes over from Lewis Ludlow as he returns from Rugby World Cup duty with his national side. The only other new face in the match day 23 sees on-loan hooker from Bristol, Chris Brooker, named amongst the replacements.

Scotland Captain and World Player of the Year nominee Greg Laidlaw is again being rested by the hosts, with Kiwi Willi Heinz deputising at scrum half.

Meanwhile, Worcester hand a full debut to new signing Tevita Cavubati, with the Fijian lock will starting alongside Donncha O’Callaghan in the second-row.

Internationals Chris Pennell and Cooper Vuna join Tom Biggs once again in the Warriors back three, while Springbok Wynand Olivier partners Ryan Mills in midfield.

Mills will be making his first return to Kingsholm since departing the club last year.


RUCK PREDICTS

Gloucester can beat anyone on their own patch when they are roared on by the loyal Shed fan base. It will be close but the home field advantage should be enough for the Cherry and Whites. Gloucester by 7 


PLAYERS TO WATCH
Gloucester: Billy Twelvetrees
NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 16: Billy Twelvetrees of Gloucester reacts during the Aviva Premiership match between Newcastle Falcons and Gloucester at Kingston Park on October 16, 2015 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 16: Billy Twelvetrees of Gloucester reacts during the Aviva Premiership match between Newcastle Falcons and Gloucester at Kingston Park on October 16, 2015 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. (Photo by Nigel Roddis/Getty Images)

The England centre is the focal point of the Gloucester backline, and if he hits top form, the rest of the side usually do as well. He is an extra option with the boot if fly-half James Hook is under pressure and has exceptional ability with the ball in hand. He knows when to pass the ball and when he runs with the ball he consistently makes it past the gain line and finds gaps.


 

Worcester: Tom Heathcote

WORCESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 16: Tom Heathcote of Worcester celebrates after kicking the winning drop goal during the Aviva Premiership match between Worcester Warriors and Northampton Saints at Sixways Stadium on October 16, 2015 in Worcester, England. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

If Worcester are to get anything from this game they need to ensure Tom Heathcote is on top of his game. The number 10 sailed over a last minute drop goal for the Warriors to win their opening game against Northampton, and he will need to deliver that kind of magic again here to give his side a chance of another famous upset.


Gloucester: 15 Charlie Sharples, 14 David Halaifonua, 13 Billy Twelvetrees (capt), 12 Bill Meakes, 11 Jonny May, 10 James Hook, 9 Willi Heinz, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 Sione Kalamafoni, 4 Tom Savage, 3 John Afoa, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Paddy McAllister.

Replacements: 16 Chris Brooker, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Paul Doran-Jones, 19 Elliott Stooke, 20 Jacob Rowan, 21 Callum Braley, 22 Billy Burns, 23 Henry Purdy.

Worcester: 15 Chris Pennell, 14 Tom Biggs, 13 Wynand Olivier, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Cooper Vuna, 10 Tom Heathcote, 9 Jonny Arr, 8 GJ van Velze (c), 7 Marco Mama, 6 Phil Dowson, 5 Tevita Cavubati, 4 Donncha O’Callaghan, 3 Nick Schonert, 2 Niall Annett, 1 Na’ama Leleimalefaga.
Replacements: 16 Dan George, 17 Val Rapava Ruskin, 18 Joe Rees, 19 Darren Barry, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Charlie Mulchrone, 22 Ryan Lamb, 23 Ben Howard.


Date: Saturday, October 31
Venue: Kingsholm
Kick-off: 14:00 GMT
Referee: Craig Maxwell-Keys
Assistant referees: Tom Foley, Jonathan Healy
TMO: Keith Lewis


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