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Gloucester Team News for Visit to Northampton Saints

31 October 2003

The Cherry and Whites will be looking to make it four wins out of four on Saturday when they travel to Franklin's Gardens for the Zurich Premiership fixture with Northampton.

Director of rugby Nigel Melville brings in Peter Buxton at number eight for his first start of the current campaign.

20 year-old loose-head prop Nick Wood comes in for Paul Johnstone, who has been ruled out through a shoulder injury picked up against Leeds Tykes last Saturday.

Commenting on 25 year-old Buxton said: "It's really good to make my first start of the season and we're looking to continue the results of our last three games."

Gloucester will also be hoping to continue their good run of form against the Saints on Saturday having won the last four outings against Wayne Smith's men.

The teams met three times last season, twice in the league and a clash at Twickenham in the Powergen Cup final. The most recent fixture between the two sides was a fierce pre-season encounter that saw Nigel Melville's team edge a 37-31 win at Franklin's Gardens.

Buxton, who has come on as a replacement in most of Gloucester's seven Premiership games so far this season, added: "It's going to be good to be involved from the beginning when the game is at its most intense. As a player it's what you play for."

But the back-row forward is aware of the strengths of the Northampton line-up. "They've got a strong game around the ruck and back-row, and some impressive runners in the backline. We want to keep on progressing like we have done over the last few weeks. The Saints had a good win away at Leicester last Saturday and everyone knows how tough it is going to be at Franklin's Gardens."

Melville and Dean Ryan also make a change in the second row bringing in Adam Eustace for Mark Cornwell.

Gloucester line-up

15. Jon Goodridge

14. Marcel Garvey

13. Robert Todd

12. Henry Paul

11. James Simpson-Daniel

10. Duncan McRae

9. Alex Page

1. Nick Wood

2. Chris Fortey

3. Andy Deacon

4. Adam Eustace

5. Alex Brown

6. Jake Boer (c)

7. Andy Hazell

8. Peter Buxton


16. Steve Brotherstone

17. Adrian Olver

18. Mark Cornwell

19. James Forrester

20. Simon Amor

21. Steve Thomas

22. Josh Frape