By Thomas Branston
Kingsholm Stadium (Kick-off 3:00pm)
Referee: Tom Foley
Assistant Referees: Adam Leal, Peter Allan
TMO: Rowan Kitt
Gloucester Rugby were defeated by Newcastle Falcons in the last round, narrowly missing out as Hodgson kicked an agonisingly late penalty to win the game, it ended 16-14 to the hosts.
The Cherry and White’s only win in their last four rounds of the Aviva Premiership was a 32-14 victory at Bristol on 24 March. Gloucester’s only defeat at Kingsholm in their last six encounters was to Harlequins where they fell 30-27 in the Premiership on 4 March.
Sale Sharks ended a three game losing run with their 36-26 try bonus-point victory at the AJ Bell Stadium against Worcester Last Friday. Sharks have won just once on the road this season, on a visit to Bristol in late October 2016.
Gloucester have the upper hand over their opponents having won their last three fixtures against the Sharks since Sale’s 23-6 win at AJ Bell Stadium in March 2015. The Sharks have won on two of their last five visits to Kingsholm, in April 2012 and in September 2013.
Last time out Gloucester beat Sale 26-13 at the AJ Bell, the Cherry and White’s were the only side to beat the Sharks at home last season and repeated this fate with tries from John Afoa and Charlie Sharples accompanied by three crucial Greg Laidlaw penalties to tie up the victory.
Gloucester | 15 Tom Marshall, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Jonny May, 10 Billy Burns, 9 Callum Braley; 1 Josh Hohneck, 2 Richard Hibbard, 3 John Afoa, 4 Jeremy Thrush (c), 5 Mariano Galarza, 6 Ross Moriarty, 7 Lewis Ludlow, 8 Freddie Clarke
Replacements | 16 Motu Matu’u, 17 Paddy McAllister, 18 Ciaran Knight, 19 Tom Savage, 20 Ben Morgan, 21 Ben Vellacott, 22 Billy Twelvetrees, 23 David Halaifonua
Sale Sharks | 15 Mike Haley, 14 Denny Solomona, 13 Sam James, 12 Mark Jennings, 11 Byron McGuigan, 10 AJ MacGinty, 9 Mike Phillips; 1 Ross Harrison, 2 Rob Webber, 3 Halani Aulika, 4 Bryn Evans, 5 Andrei Ostrikov, 6 Cameron Neild, 7 Ben Curry, 8 Josh Beaumont (c)
Replacements | 16 Tom Curry, 17 James Flynn, 18 Kieran Longbottom, 19 George Nott, 20 Laurence Pearce, 21 James Mitchell, 22 Sam Bedlow, 23 Josh Charnley