Follow all the action on the RugbyPass live blog from the Gallagher Premiership match between Gloucester and Exeter Chiefs at Kingsholm. 

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Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann has admitted it has been a frustrating wait to take on the Premiership leaders.

The Cherry and Whites were well beaten by local rivals Bristol three weeks ago in their last outing, and Ackermann said Friday’s Kingsholm clash couldn’t come around quick enough.

“It’s been a hard time for us as coaches, and for the players as well,” said Ackermann, who has outside-half Danny Cipriani available after injury.

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“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.”

Fourth-placed Gloucester also recall Matt Banahan, Billy Twelvetrees and Gerbrandt Grobler, with Ed Slater returning to the matchday squad after injury.

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Gloucester trail Exeter by seven points and Ackermann said: “There are certain games which are quite special, and Friday night games are special for the supporters and the players.

“They’ve built a 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.”

Exeter, who are aiming to bounce back from a shock home defeat to Sale three weeks ago, have Scotland full-back Stuart Hogg and Australia scrum-half Nic White available.

“We are expecting a full-on game,” said Chiefs director of rugby Rob Baxter. “The good thing about being in and around the top of the Premiership is you know what to expect – and that’s a full-on challenge every time you play.

“Because you are top, people want to knock you off. Like ourselves, Gloucester have ambitions of being in the top four and wanting to win the Premiership.

“For them, we are one of the teams they are competing against, so there is every reason to say this is going to be a very tough game.”

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