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Leeds Tykes name team for Gloucester match

19 December 2003

England international Tom Palmer will return to the Tykes squad for the first time this season when he appears as a replacement for Sunday's game.  Palmer injured his knee playing for England this summer. Mark Regan is ruled out with a foot injury whilst replacement hooker Rob Rawlinson suffered a calf injury last week.  Matt Holt will deputise at hooker. Phil Christophers returns to the starting line up for Diego Albanese, who is away with the New Zealand Barbarians.  As is Aaron Persico, which means that James Ponton comes back into the starting line up. Ryan Walker has recovered from mumps to return to the bench, with Liam Botham also back amongst the replacements. Loan signing Andrew Kyriacou from Sale could make his debut off the bench.

Phil Davies looked ahead to the Tykes game against Gloucester: 

"We are back in Zurich Premiership action this week and it will be an extremely tough encounter against Gloucester.  We fought back from the brink when we travelled down to Kingsholm earlier in the season and we know they possess the firepower to blow you off the park if you are not on your game."

They were the best team during the regular season last year and they have managed to get themselves into a good position despite being without three crucial players during the World Cup and they will no doubt be looking to begin their challenge for the top from here on.

The nucleus of their team is the same as last year and that has stood them in good stead for this campaign.  Duncan McRea has been a major addition to the squad and we will need to make sure that we do not give him many opportunities on Sunday.

We are delighted to have Tom Palmer back in the squad this week.  Tom has had a tough time battling back from injury but he will be even more determined to make an impact now.  He has done everything that has been asked of him by the medical team and I'm sure that when he gets on he will be quick to get back to his best.

Last weeks trip to Toulouse was a fantastic experience for us. We did very well for 75 minutes, but we did some uncharacteristic things wrong and you can not hope to do that against the European Champions and get away with it.

For us to come away with a 19-3 loss is very encouraging, because the Heineken Cup is the biggest club competition in the northern hemisphere.

We're never happy to lose, but there were a lot of positive points to come out of the game.  We've got to build from here and move forward. We've got four matches left in the Heineken Cup and we want to get some more points on the table. Toulouse is the best club in Europe and that's where we want to be in three to five years.

The Team

Backs

15. Dan Scarbrough
14. David Rees
13. Andre Snyman
12. Tristan Davies
11. Phil Christophers
10. Gordon Ross
9. Clive Stuart Smith

Forwards

1. Mike Shelley (c)
2. Matt Holt
3. Gary Powell
4. Phil Murphy
5. Stuart Hooper
6. Matt Salter
7. James Ponton
8. Alix Popham

Replacements

16. Michael Cusack
17. Andrew Kyriacou
18. Tom Palmer
19. Dan Hyde
20. Ryan Walker
21. Tim Walsh
22. Liam Botham