Table-toppers Exeter head to Kingsholm on Friday night to face Gloucester for the fourth time this season, with the away side winning the previous three games.

The Chiefs are without their 6 England internationals, with Jack Nowell, Henry Slade, Ollie Devoto, Ben Moon, Harry Williams and Luke Cowan-Dickie being retained by Eddie Jones.

But Wales tight-head Tomas Francis plays, after being rested for Wales last Six Nations game and former Cherry and Whites Jonny Hill and Matt Kvesic return to Kingsholm.

Ruan Ackermann returns from injury for the home side, alongside Tom Marshall and Jason Woodward.

Gloucester head coach Johan Ackermann spoke of the game to BBC Radio Gloucester, saying;

“It’s going to be a massive challenge. They’ve got excellent players, excellent coaches and if you ever want to be tested at the highest level, the next week will challenge you.

“The next two weeks is massive. We play the leading sides in the competition that have been setting the tone in the Premiership for a long time.”

Speaking to BBC Radio Devon, Ackermann’s opposite man Rob Baxter believes the game is a nice challenge for his side.

“We’ve both won away from home and both won at home, but at no stage has anybody won the two fixtures in a Premiership season,” the Chiefs Director of Rugby said.

“We won at home in the Premiership and lost at home in the Heineken Cup, then won away in the Heineken Cup, so the omens probably don’t look good based on that.

“We play Gloucester a lot, both us and them have tended to not back up performances against each other as we would have both liked, and it’s a great opportunity to back up a win at Kingsholm last time with a win and claim that elusive Premiership double over them.”

 

Written By Sam Bytheway

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