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Tom Tainton

Tom Tainton writes

Posted Thursday, April 21st 2022

Team news: Bristol Bears vs Gloucester Rugby - GP R23

Steven Luatua returns to the Bears starting XV for Friday night’s West Country derby clash with Gloucester at Ashton Gate on Friday night (7.45pm KO, live on BT Sport).

  • Steven Luatua captains the side
  • Toby Fricker returns from injury on the wing
  • Luke Morahan switches to full-back

The All Black captains the side in his first start since dislocating his wrist against Harlequins last month, joining Sam Jeffries and Fitz Harding in the back row.

Toby Fricker recovers from a chest injury to start on the wing for the first time since Boxing Day, with Luke Morahan switching to full back in place of the injured Charles Piutau (groin).

Antoine Frisch partners Piers O’Conor in the midfield, while homegrown duo Andy Uren and Callum Sheedy line up at half-back.

Bristol Bears team to play Gloucester at Ashton Gate in the Gallagher Premiership:

15. Luke Morahan (95 apps), 14. Toby Fricker (25 apps), 13. Piers O’Conor (105 apps), 12. Antoine Frisch (12 apps), 11. Alapati Leiua (100 apps), 10. Callum Sheedy (128 apps), 9. Andy Uren (131 apps); 1. Jake Woolmore (104 apps), 2. Harry Thacker (73 apps), 3. John Afoa (84 apps), 4. Ed Holmes (83 apps), 5. Chris Vui (90 apps), 6. Steven Luatua (c) (95 apps), 7. Sam Jeffries (50 apps), 8. Fitz Harding (29 apps).

System players: 16. Jake Kerr (19 apps), 17. Jono Benz-Salomon (4 apps), 18. Jake Armstrong (29 apps), 19. Joe Joyce (148 apps), 20. Dan Thomas (106 apps), 21. Harry Randall (81 apps), 22. Sam Bedlow (46 apps), 23. Jack Bates (18 apps).

Unavailable: Max Lahiff, Yann Thomas, Kyle Sinckler, Bryan Byrne, Dave Attwood, Jake Heenan, Nathan Hughes, Oscar Lennon, Tom Whiteley, Ioan Lloyd, Siva Naulago, Charles Piutau, Semi Radradra, Rich Lane.


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