Aviva Premiership - Round 17
Burns returns for Gloucester
ESPN Staff
March 1, 2013

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ESPN's Sarra Elgan talks to Gloucester's Freddie Burns

Gloucester have recalled England fly-half Freddie Burns for Friday night's clash with rivals Bath at the Recreation Ground.

Burns has missed their last five matches due to an injury he sustained while on Amlin Challenge Cup duty against Mont-de-Marsan but he returns in one of three changes to the Gloucester aside ahead of their showdown on Friday night. Stuart Lancaster will probably be keeping an eye on how Burns does with England monitoring Owen Farrell's fitness ahead of their match with Italy on March 10.

The two other changes see Mike Tindall named in the centres in place of Tim Molenaar while Nick Wood comes in at loose-head instead of Dan Murphy.

Gloucester are currently fourth in the Aviva Premiership table and they will look to boost their play-off hopes with a win on Friday night. But they will come up against a Bath side who are still smarting from their 25-23 loss to Northampton last Saturday.

They change four for the clash with Paul James, Francois Louw, David Wilson and Matt Banahan all starting. Kyle Eastmond continues at inside centre while Tom Heathcote lines up alongside Peter Stringer at half-back.

Worcester Warriors are also in action on Friday evening and they host London Wasps at Sixways. The Warriors fell to an agonising defeat to Gloucester last weekend with referee David Rose awarding the Cherry and Whites a penalty try in the last play of the game. They will hope to bounce back at home to Wasps and coach Richard Hill has made four changes to the team.

Jon Clarke is recalled to the centres in place of Josh Matavesi while Neil Best is included in their back-row. Chris Pennell returns to wear the No.15 jersey with Errie Claassens ruled out after being given a one game ban following his red card at Gloucester last week. With Pennell moving to full back, Josh Drauniniu is named on the wing.

Wasps change also change four with Christian Wade out of the match due to injury. Elliot Daly starts on the wing in Wade's place while Andrea Masi, who is returning from Test duty, gets the nod at outside centre. Nick Robinson, Tim Payne and Phil Swainston also start while James Haskell is out with a leg strain.

Saturday's line up sees Leicester hosting basement side Sale Sharks at Welford Road. They will not have Toby Flood at their disposal but Tom Croft captains the side. Mathew Tait and Niall Morris also get the nod. For Sale, Danny Cipriani is dropped with Nick Macleod starting while James Gaskell shifts into the second-row in place of Kearnan Myall with Richie Vernon starting. Will Addison, Tom Brady and Marc Jones also start.

Northampton are also in action with London Irish travelling to the Madejski Stadium. England boss Lancaster opted to release Dylan Hartley and Courtney Lawes and they both start with Hartley replacing Mike Haywood and Lawes coming in for Ben Nutley. For Irish, Jonathan Fisher starts while Setaimata Sa, who arrived at the club earlier this year, is named as a replacement along with David Paice who has recovered from injury

Elsewhere on Saturday, league-leaders Harlequins play the Exeter Chiefs at the Stoop. For Quins - Ollie Lindsay-Hague starts, while Nick Evans returns from an ankle and is named at fly-half. In the forwards, captain Nick Easter will make his second appearance of the season in the second row while Tom Guest is named at No.8. The Chiefs have also opted to move things around with Alex Brown and Damian Welch starting. Behind the pack Phil Dollman gets the nod in place of the injured Jason Shoemark.

On Sunday the ESPN cameras will travel to Saracens' new home the Allianz Stadium to see how they fare against London Welsh . Sarries have changed two for the match with Duncan Taylor starting in the centres and George Kruis partnering Steve Borthwick in the second-row. Andy Saull, Jamie George, Mouritz Botha and Ben Ransom are named on the bench.

The Exiles will be sweating on the potential permutations of their RFU hearing on Tuesday regarding the previously ineligible player Tyson Keats. Their coach Lyn Jones has made a host of changes with Gonzalo Tiesi, Neil Briggs and Ed Jackson all ruled out through injury. Tiesi's place at outside centre is taken by Sonny Parker, while there's a debut on the wing for new signing Seb Stegmann. Greg Bateman moves from tight head to hooker to replace Briggs, with James Tideswell coming into the front row. In the second row, Kirill Kulemin partners captain Jonathan Mills, while there's a new look back row. Jackson's place at No.8 is taken by Alfie To'oala, with Julio Cabello Farias moving from openside to blindside flanker. Michael Hills wears the number seven jersey.

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