Bears look to edge Gloucester as they announce team

Bears look to edge Gloucester as they announce team

Steven Luatua returns to action when the Bears take on West Country rivals Gloucester at Ashton Gate in round eight of the Gallagher Premiership on Saturday (2pm KO).

The Samoan international makes only his second appearance of the season in the back row as Pat Lam makes two changes to the side narrowly beaten at Saracens last weekend.

Harry Thacker returns at hooker, with Jake Heenan and George Kloska coming in on the bench against the Cherry and Whites.

Director of Rugby, Pat Lam, said: “Derby games are all about our supporters and we’re looking forward to being back at home in front of our biggest crowd of the season at Ashton Gate on Saturday.

“It’s great to finally have Stevie back as I know he and all of the players are keen to secure a win for our supporters.”

Bristol Bears team to face Gloucester at Ashton Gate on Saturday (2pm KO):

15. Max Malins (21 apps), 14. Gabriel Ibitoye (27 apps), 13. Virimi Vakatawa (7 apps), 12. Benhard Janse van Rensburg (10 apps), 11. Rich Lane (25 apps), 10. Callum Sheedy (160 apps), 9. Harry Randall (111 apps); 1. Ellis Genge (37 apps), 2. Harry Thacker (109 apps), 3. Kyle Sinckler (47 apps), 4. James Dun (22 apps), 5. Joe Batley (49 apps), 6. Steven Luatua (115 apps), 7. Dan Thomas (137 apps), 8. Fitz Harding (60 apps) (c).

System players: 16. Gabriel Oghre (3 apps), 17. Jake Woolmore (139 apps), 18. George Kloska (37 apps), 19. Josh Caulfield (11 apps), 20. Jake Heenan (100 apps), 21. Kieran Marmion (11 apps), 22. James Williams (26 apps), 23. Kalaveti Ravouvou (1 app).

Unavailable: Yann Thomas, Jay Tyack, Chris Vui, Santiago Grondona, Magnus Bradbury, AJ MacGinty, Siva Naulago, Noah Heward.

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