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Gloucester v Ospreys - Teams and Prediction

CHALLENGE CUP QUARTERFINAL PREVIEW: Ospreys head coach Toby Booth has demanded that his players lift their game for their Challenge Cup quarterfinal at Gloucester on Friday.

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Although the 23-15 home win against Sale in the Round of 16 was the first by Ospreys in an EPCR knockout game, Booth acknowledges that they need to step up a gear when they visit Kingsholm.

“I know [Gloucester head coach] George Skivington well and they are a good team,” he told the BBC. “They have high-profile players like [No.8] Zach Mercer and we need to be better than we were against Sale.”

Lock Adam Beard, the Welsh international, is looking forward to another Anglo-Welsh clash and the clubs’ first encounter in the competition.

“It doesn’t get any more exciting than to go to Gloucester to play a European quarterfinal,” he told Swansea Bay News.

“We don’t get any second chances now – it is knockout rugby – and we are going to do everything in our power to get there. We have had a good training week and the boys are ready to go up against them.

“Gloucester have good support, which can make it feel quite hostile, but it will be a great experience to play in a packed-out stadium. I know the boys and the coaches are looking forward to it.

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“The scrum and maul will be a really big weapon for them. They have some quality players in that pack and bring a big threat to the set-piece.

“We do, though, back ourselves on that, so I imagine come Friday night, it will be a good battle up front, but one we’re looking forward to.”

The teams have met eight times since 2003, with Gloucester edging the head-to head five=three – but they have not faced each other for six years, when the Gallagher Premiership outfit won 43-20 at Kingsholm.

Wing Jonny May wants to ensure Gloucester Rugby are rewarded for the endeavour the squad have put it, which has brought a transformation in results in 2024.

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“A lot of hard work has gone into this group the last few years and maybe we haven’t got the rewards that we would have hoped for and deserved, given the fact we really have put in the hard graft,” the England international told the BBC.

“There’s been some challenging times this season as well, but to be in a quarterfinal feels awesome. It feels like we’re getting an opportunity to play in a huge game and getting to show what we can do and what we believe we can do.”

Prediction

@rugby365com: Gloucester by five points.

Teams:

Gloucester: 15 Santi Carreras, 14 Jonny May, 13 Max Llewellyn, 12 Seb Atkinson, 11 Jake Morris, 10 Adam Hastings, 9 Stephen Varney, 8 Zach Mercer, 7 Lewis Ludlow (captain), 6 Ruan Ackermann, 5 Freddie Thomas, 4 Freddie Clarke, 3 Kirill Gotovtsev, 2 Seb Blake, 1 Jamal Ford-Robinson.
Replacements: 16 Santi Socino, 17 Mayco Vivas, 18 Fraser Balmain, 19 Albert Tuisue, 20 Jack Clement, 21 Caolan Engelfield, 22 Charlie Atkinson, 23 Chris Harris.

Ospreys: 15 Jack Walsh, 14 Luke Morgan, 13 Keiran Williams, 12 Owen Watkin, 11 Keelan Giles, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Reuben Morgan-Williams, 8 Morgan Morris, 7 Justin Tipuric (captain), 6 Harri Deaves, 5 Adam Beard, 4 James Ratti, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Gareth Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Lewis Lloyd, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Rhys Henry, 19 Huw Sutton, 20 Morgan Morse, 21 Luke Davies, 22 Dan Edwards, 23 Max Nagy.

Date: Friday, April 12
Venue: Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester
Kick-off: 20.00 (19.00 GMT)
Referee: Pierre Brousset (France)
Assistant referees: Tual Trainini (France), Jeremy Rozier (France)
TMO: Denis Grenouillet (France)

@ChallengeCup_

Main image: @gloucesterrugby

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