2:11pm Friday 2nd May 2014
By SNJ Sport
Club captain Tom Savage returns to the Gloucester Rugby matchday squad for the first time since November with London Irish the final visitors to Kingsholm in the Aviva Premiership this season.
Savage is named amongst the replacements, so Billy Twelvetrees continues to skipper the side which shows three changes to the starting line up from last time out against London Wasps.
The back line is unchanged. However, Yann Thomas and Sila Puafisi take over from Nick Wood and Shaun Knight in the front row and Will James, in his final Premiership appearance at Kingsholm, will start in the second row.
Seventh place, and a potential European play off, is still on the cards for the Cherry and Whites. However, results elsewhere would have to go Gloucester's way.
Looking ahead to the game, Forwards Coach Andrew Stanley acknowledged that the side are focused on finishing as high as possible, but performance and result come first.
"It remains mathematically possible, and that's what we've prepared for. We've had a good week's training, we've just got to convert it into a performance on Saturday.
"First and foremost we've got to put in a positive performance, hopefully get the win on the back of it and see where it takes us.
"There are a number of players for whom it'll possibly be their last performance at Kingsholm. Some of those players have been here a long time so there is a driver there. We obviously want to give those players a good send off so they go away with the right memories.”
Stanley also stressed that the visitors will pose a tough challenge and demand the utmost respect.
"There aren't any easy games and Irish's recent scorelines, even against the top sides, have proved that. They're very competitive.
"We're not taking anything for granted as far as London Irish are concerned. We'll give them the respect they deserve but we're looking for a performance befitting of our last appearance at Kingsholm.”
Gloucester Rugby: Rob Cook; Charlie Sharples, Mike Tindall, Billy Twelvetrees (capt), Jonny May; Freddie Burns, Jimmy Cowan; Yann Thomas, Huia Edmonds, Sila Puafisi; Elliott Stooke, Will James; Sione Kalamafoni, Matt Kvesic, Ben Morgan.
Replacements: Dan George, Dan Murphy, Shaun Knight, Tom Savage, Tom Young, Dan Robson, Billy Meakes, Shane Monahan.
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