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Dublin: 11 °C Sunday 20 April, 2014

Gloucester leave out star names for Thomond Park test

Nigel Davies has decided to rotate his team ahead of tomorrow’s Heineken Cup encounter with Munster.

Freddie Burns is only on the bench for Gloucester.
Freddie Burns is only on the bench for Gloucester.
Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

GLOUCESTER COACH NIGEL Davies has left out several of his best players for the Pool 6 Heineken Cup clash against Munster tomorrow evening.

England international out-half Freddie Burns is on the bench for the Premiership side, while creative centre Billy Twelvetrees is left out of the match-day squad entirely.

Remarkably, the Gloucester XV retains just three players who started last weekend’s 27-22 win over Perpignan in Jonny May, Ryan Mills and former international Mike Tindall. The entire forwards pack has been changed, with the excellent openside flanker Matt Kvesic also missing from the squad.

Head coach Nigel Davies has been operating a rotation policy at Gloucester this season, but he was expected to buck the trend for the visit to Thomond Park. Munster will certainly be taking nothing for granted after last weekend’s shock loss to Edinburgh, but Rob Penney will be encouraged by the team Gloucester have named.

There are several players to watch out for in the visitors’ starting line-up, with Charlie Sharples on the right wing possessing incredible pace. Ben Morgan at No. 8 is a man still looking to find his best form, but he is a powerful presence regardless of that.

Overall though, this is not what was expected from Davies and Munster will possibly be relieved.

Gloucester (v Munster): Martyn Thomas; Charlie Sharples, Mike Tindall, Ryan Mills, Jonny May; Jonny Bentley, Dan Robson; Dan Murphy, Darren Dawidiuk, Rupert Harden; Lua Lokotui, Will James (capt); Matt Cox, Akapusi Qera, Ben Morgan.

Replacements: Dan George, James Gibbons, Yann Thomas, James Hudson, Gareth Evans, Tavis Knoyle, Freddie Burns, Rob Cook.

Team news: O’Mahony returns for Munster, Gopperth at 10 for Leinster

‘I enjoy the physical part of the game’ – Leinster out-half Jimmy Gopperth

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