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Danny Cipriani is back for Gloucester’s Premiership clash against Exeter Chiefs

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Author: Roger Jackson, Posted: Thursday, 13th February 2020, 14:30

Danny Cipriani Danny Cipriani

Gloucester return to Gallagher Premiership action on Friday evening when they take on Exeter Chiefs at Kingsholm (kick off 7.45pm). Franco Mostert will skipper a side which sees Danny Cipriani and Ed Slater return to the matchday squad.

The Cherry and Whites are able to call upon their recent Six Nations representatives, with the exception of Willi Heinz and Ollie Thorley, although Owen Williams is ruled out with a hamstring injury picked up while away with Wales.

There are four changes to the starting line-up from the one that featured against Bristol Bears three weeks ago.

Matt Banahan comes in at full-back for Jason Woodward who picked up a calf injury at Ashton Gate. Billy Twelvetrees takes over from Mark Atkinson at inside centre and Cipriani returns at fly-half.

The one change in the pack sees Gerbrandt Grobler replace Alex Craig in the second row. Fellow lock, Ed Slater is named among the replacements, featuring for the first time since early November having recovered from a foot injury.

Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann admitted that it’s been a frustrating couple of weeks waiting to put things right following the loss at Bristol.

“It’s been a hard time for us as coaches, and for the players as well,” he said. “Normally you get the chance to fix what went wrong quite quickly. But we’ve not had that opportunity and have had to live with that performance and result.

“But we’ve had some time for reflection and have tweaked a few things over the past week, and hopefully we can change things.

“There are certain games which are quite special, and Friday night games are special for the supporters and the players. And facing a team like Exeter, one of the most consistent teams, you can’t ask for a better night out and hopefully we’ll make it a good game.

“They’ve built of culture of believing and winning and developed a strength in depth in their squad which means that, whoever they lose to internationals or injury, they’re going to have a competitive team. They find a way to perform and we have to match that.”

Gloucester: 15. Matt Banahan; 14. Louis Rees-Zammit, 13, Chris Harris, 12. Billy Twelvetrees, 11. Tom Marshall; 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Joe Simpson; 1. Val Rapava-Ruskin, 2. Franco Marais, 3. Fraser Balmain; 4. Gerbrandt Grobler, 5. Franco Mostert (capt); 6. Ruan Ackermann, 7. Lewis Ludlow, 8. Ben

Morgan.Replacements: 16. Todd Gleave, 17. Josh Hohneck, 18. Ciaran Knight, 19. Ed Slater, 20. Freddie Clarke, 21. Jake Polledri, 22. Callum Braley, 23. Mark Atkinson. Unavailable for selection: Ruan Dreyer, Jamal Ford-Robinson, James Hanson, Willi Heinz, Charlie Sharples, Ollie Thorley, Henry Trinder, Owen Williams, Jason Woodward.

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