Aviva Premiership: Gloucester select Steve Monahan for Friday night clash with Leicester
Last Updated: 01/12/13 11:30am
Gloucester have made five changes as they look to bounce back to winning ways when they take on Leicester at Kingsholm on Friday night.
The Cherry and Whites paied the price for an ill-disciplined performance at the Twickenham Stoop last time out, having three players sin-binned as they went down to a 27-19 defeat to Harlequins.
They were also beaten in Aviva Premiership action the last time they played in front of their own fans, slipping to a 32-30 defeat against Wasps, and have not tasted success in league action since toppling Newcastle in September.
Looking for a change of fortune, director of rugby Nigel Davies has opted to recall Darren Dawidiuk, Lua Lokotui, Dan Robson and Henry Trinder to his starting line-up.
There is also a place in the side for Shane Monahan, with the winger to make his first start of the campaign in place of the injured Charlie Sharples.
"It's always a huge game in its own right, but it's particularly important for us at this stage where we're desperate for a win," said Davies. "We've not performed anywhere near the levels we expect of ourselves and we need this win. It's a crucial fixture for us.
"Leicester are very set piece orientated, they play a set piece game, they play it very well. They'll come here with a physical edge and look to squeeze us at the set piece. That's what they do week in, week out.
"But they've also got a lot of quality in their side that can take advantage of the opportunities that that pressure creates. It's a tried and trusted formula and they do it very well."
Leicester, meanwhile, welcome back Blaine Scully and Marcos Ayerza from international duty.
The pair go straight into the starting XV, with Argentina prop Ayerza packing down alongside England and British and Irish Lions duo Tom Youngs and Dan Cole in the front row.
With Matt Smith injured in the win over London Irish last Saturday, Adam Thompstone joins Dan Bowden at centre. Teenager Javiah Pohe will provide back-up for the midfield positions from the bench.
The Tigers know just how their hosts are feeling right now - they had failed to register a victory in three successive league outings before their 20-11 triumph over the Exiles, though even then they needed two controversial penalty tries.
"We battled through the game against London Irish last week to take the points, though we can play a lot better," said Leicester boss Richard Cockerill.
"We needed that win after a couple of disappointing results but the squad will be better for it and we know we need to push on from there."
Gloucester: 15 Cook, 14 Monahan, 13 Trinder, 12 Twelvetrees, 11 May, 10 Burns, 9 Robson; 1 Wood, 2 Dawidiuk, 3 Knight, 4 Lokotui, 5 Hudson, 6 Savage (capt), 7 Kvesic, 8 Morgan
Replacements: 16 Edmonds, 17 Thomas, 18 Harden, 19 Stooke, 20 Cox, 21 Cowan, 22 Tindall, 23 Thomas.
Leicester: 15 Hamilton, 14 Scully, 13 Thompstone, 12 Bowden, 11 Benjamin, 10 Flood (c), 9 Ben Youngs; 1 Ayerza, 2 Tom Youngs, 3 Cole, 4 Deacon, 5 Kitchener, 6 Gibson, 7 Salvi, 8 Waldrom, .
Replacements: 16 Briggs, 17 Stankovich, 18 Balmain, 19 De Chaves, 20 Crane, 21 Harrison, 22 Williams, 23 Pohe.
Aviva Premiership 2013/14 Round Nine
Northampton forwards Tom Wood, Christian Day, Sam Dickinson, Mike Haywood and Ben Nutley have all signed new contracts.
Harlequins director of rugby Conor O'Shea believes the "astonishing" Nick Easter deserves an England recall.
Harlequins returned to the top four of the Aviva Premiership with a 35-9 bonus-point victory over Newcastle.
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