Heineken Cup Pool 6: Gloucester v Edinburgh match preview
Last Updated: 15/12/13 9:19am
Tongan international prop Sila Puafisi has been included in Gloucester's squad for the first time for Sunday's Heineken Cup clash with Edinburgh.
The 25-year-old tighthead, whose signing was announced after Tonga's final match of their November international tour, has been training with his new team-mates, whilst waiting to receive a work permit.
That hurdle overcome, and registered for European action, Puafisi will start on the bench for Sunday's game against Edinburgh, the second of the back-to-back games between the two teams.
Gloucester produced an efficient performance to take the spoils at Murrayfield last Sunday, and will now be looking to complete the job and follow up with victory at Kingsholm.
Munster are six points clear of Gloucester at the top of Pool 6 following their dramatic win at Perpignan on Saturday, so the Cherry & Whites need a victory to keep pace.
"To go to Edinburgh and get a result was very significant in the context of our season. It's a very difficult place to go, I've experienced that in the Celtic League in the past," stated Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies.
"They're a very competent side, and they'll no doubt use the disappointment of last weekend to come down here, put in a big performance and get a result back. We have to be very wary of that."
Ford back for Edinburgh
Meanwhile, Edinburgh are boosted by the return of Scotland international hooker Ross Ford for the Gloucester clash with the 2009 British and Irish Lion having been absent with a calf injury since the Autumn Tests.
He packs down between props Wicus Blaauw and Willem Nel, and takes on the captaincy from scrum-half Greig Laidlaw, who has been replaced by summer signing Grayson Hart.
"It's great to have Ross [Ford] back. He's a very good player of international class," said Edinburgh boss Alan Solomons. "He's a big strong man and comes in as part of good front-row. It will be interesting to see how they go."
Solomons has also opted to reintroduce Roddy Grant and Argentine international Tomas Leonardi at flanker, while Joaquin Dominguez steps into midfield in place of centre Nick De Luca.
Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Martyn Thomas, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Jonny May, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 James Hudson, 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 Shaun Knight, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Yann Thomas
Replacements: 16 Huia Edmonds, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Sila Puafisi, 19 Tom Hicks, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Mike Tindall, 23 Charlie Sharples
Edinburgh: 15 Greig Tonks, 14 Douglas Fife, 13 Joaquin Dominguez, 12 Ben Atiga, 11 Jack Cuthbert, 10 Harry Leonard, 9 Grayson Hart, 8 Cornell Du Preez, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 Tomas Leonardi, 5 Izak Van Der Westhuizen, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 3 Willem Nel, 2 Ross Ford (c), 1 Wicus Blaauw
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Ollie Atkins, 20 Ross Rennie, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Lee Jones, 23 Tom Brown