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Hulking Puma gets first start as Gloucester name powerful side for West Country derby

By Online Editors
(Photo by Warren Little/World Rugby via Getty Images)

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Gloucester Rugby have named the side that will make the short trip to Bath tomorrow to take on their West-Country rivals at the Recreation Ground. Gloucester head coach George Skivington has handed a full debut to Argentine international, Matias Alemanno (6’7, 114kg), who made an impressive impact off the bench against Harlequins last week. Alemanno partners former Bath man, Matt Garvey in the second row.

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Jack Singleton and Ruan Ackermann return to the pack after missing last week’s game, with Ackermann stepping in at 8, and Jake Polledri switching to blindside flanker.

There’s also a welcome return for Willi Heinz as he makes his first appearance since the restart, following a successful recovery from injury. He will link up with Lloyd Evans at fly half, who steps up from the bench alongside Billy Twelvetrees at inside centre.

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‘I was Never Alone’ Sir Ian McGeechan
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‘I was Never Alone’ Sir Ian McGeechan

In the back three Matt Banahan comes in at full-back to face his former club, with Thorley and May retaining their spots on the wings.

GLOUCESTER RUGBY
15. Matt Banahan, 14. Ollie Thorley, 13. Chris Harris, 12. Billy Twelvetrees, 11. Jonny May, 10. Lloyd Evans, 9. Willi Heinz; 1. Val Rapava-Ruskin, 2. Jack Singleton, 3. Fraser Balmain, 4. Ed Slater, 5. Matias Alemanno, 6. Jake Polledri, 7. Lewis Ludlow ©, 8. Ruan Ackermann

REPLACEMENTS
16. Henry Walker, 17. Corne Fourie, 18. Jack Stanley, 19. Ed Slater, 20. Jordy Reid, 21. Joe Simpson, 22. Tom Seabrook, 23. Louis Rees-Zammit.

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