Second row Franco Mostert will make his first start as Gloucester Rugby make half a dozen changes to their starting line-up for Friday evening’s Heineken Champions Cup fixture at home to Exeter Chiefs (kick off 7:45pm).


It’s the second leg of the traditional December European double-header, and Gloucester Rugby will be looking to back up last Saturday’s win at Sandy Park, whilst also anticipating a furious response from the Chiefs. The Cherry and Whites make three changes to the pack and three to the back line. In the backs, Jason Woodward, Charlie Sharples and Billy Twelvetrees all return to the starting line-up.

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In the forwards, in addition to Mostert making his full debut, Ed Slater comes into the second row and Gareth Evans will line up on the openside flank.

Gloucester Rugby came away with a hard-fought win from Sandy Park last Saturday, but Head Coach Johan Ackermann knows that the Cherry and Whites will have to be better still on Friday evening against a Chiefs side who will be determined to put the record straight.

“It will obviously be good for our campaign to back up last week with a win and give ourselves a possibility of progressing in the competition.

“But, having analysed the game, we know that it’s not going to be easy, there is still much for us to improve on and a lot of hard work we need to do. We also know that we’ll be up against a side who are very motivated to bounce back.

“We will have played each other three times in four weeks, and you have to tweak a few things but it’s a short turnaround. It’s going to be a big challenge for us as a group because Exeter are a proud side, they won’t take last week’s result lightly and they will come highly motivated.”

Gloucester Rugby:

15. Jason Woodward; 14. Charlie Sharples, 13. Billy Twelvetrees, 12. Owen Williams, 11. Ollie Thorley; 10. Danny Cipriani, 9. Willi Heinz (capt); 1. Josh Hohneck, 2. Jacon Visagie, 3. Fraser Balmain; 4. Ed Slater, 5. Franco Mostert; 6. Freddie Clarke, 7. Gareth Evans, 8. Ben Morgan


16. Henry Walker, 17. Alex Seville, 18. Ciaran Knight, 19. Gerbrandt Grobler, 20. Alex Craig, 21. Callum Braley, 22. Matt Banahan, 23. Tom Hudson

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