Hartpury much-changed for Knights Cup visit

As expected, Hartpury have made changes to the squad that will take on Doncaster Knights (Saturday 14th, 2pm) in the sixth and, for Hartpury, final Cup weekend of the current season.

George Simpson, Dan Koster and club skipper, Luke Carter, all return to the starting line-up after being given varying degrees of rest over the past three weekends.  Fly-half Joshua Bragman would have played in Jersey, last Saturday, were it not for a strain picked up in training – that is happily cleared and he will start in this game.

Joe Margetts and Mike Wilcox are the only backs in the fifteen who were starters last time out.

Similarly in the forwards, props Dan Murphy and Alex Gibson both step back into the starting line-up.  Akapusi Qera and Jack Preece are named in the back row, either side of Seb Nagle-Taylor, who put in another good performance in Jersey.

The second row sees the return of Joe Batley, unavailable last week, and he and Beck Cutting, at hooker, are the only dual-registered players in the squad this weekend.

There is plenty of good news on the bench, where both Iain Grieve and Rob Fuller are named for the first time this season.

Experienced back-row forward Grieve has been recuperating from a knee ‘clear-out’ over the summer, while lock-forward Fuller has been an even longer-term absentee, having sustained a serious knee ligament injury early in the 2018-19 season.  It’s great to have both of them back and, in Fuller’s case, a further option in the second row.

Robbie Smith, son of former Gloucester and Scotland flanker, Ian, is also named in the 23, after continuing to impress in university rugby.

Saturday’s fixture will be followed, at 4pm, by Gloucester-Hartpury Women versus Loughborough Lightning in the Tyrell’s Premier 15s.  Supporters can watch both games on a single ticket at the special price of £10.

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