Director of Rugby/ Head Coach: David Humphreys and Laurie Fisher
Captain: Greig Laidlaw
Stadium: Kingsholm Stadium (Capacity: 16,115)
Last Season: 8th
Gloucester have languished in the lower reaches of the table in recent seasons, the Cherry and Whites have been unable to field and formidable outfit but are building a squad under Humphreys to challenge once again.
Gloucester have some of the best back rowers in the league such as Kvesic and Moriarty who are both pushing for international recognition this year. With international, experienced players such as James Hook, Greig Laidlaw and Matt Scott who all have amassed a large number of test caps.
Gloucester have always traditionally had a large pack with forwards that dominate the set piece. The Shed faithful enjoy their forwards bossing the scrum and with that strong pack the breakdown has become an area of strength.
Fisher and Humphreys are looking to focus on the backs this year, Sharples and May are lethal and their sheer speed makes them deadly in the final third.
THREE TO WATCH
Position: Flanker Nationality: English Age: 24 Height: 1.88m Weight: 105kg
Probably England’s closest answer to the Richie McCaw, David Pocock type favoured openside you see playing in Super Rugby and for the SANZAR nations.
He is crucial to Gloucester at the breakdown, he tackles strongly and his work on the floor is among the best in Europe. The English seven gives Gloucester quick, workable ball for the West Country club.
Position: Scrum-Half/ Fly-Half Nationality: Scottish Age: 30 Height: 1.75m Weight: 80kg
The skipper is important to Gloucester especially when kicking the points. His metronomic boot is among the best in the business. His range is short but accuracy unerring.
Laidlaw is also an expert at unlocking defences, his passing is accurate and his vision is good. This allows him to set strike moves from anywhere on the field.
Position: Flanker Nationality: Welsh Age: 22 Height: 1.88m Weight: 104kg
Moriarty is a quick flanker that is exceptionally effective in the wide channels with the centres and wings trying to open up defensive lines with either his pace or his upper body strength.
Moriarty’s close quarters defence is also a massively important asset for Gloucester and is becoming as important for Wales.
Tom Denton (Leinster, IRE)
Josh Hohneck (Highlanders, NZL)
Motu Matu’u (Wellington Hurricanes, NZL)
Cameron Orr (Greater Sydney Rams, AUS)
Matt Scott (Edinburgh Rugby, SCO)
Andy Symons (Worcester Warriors, ENG)
Luke Cole (Rotherham Titans, ENG)
Rob Cook (Retired, RET)
James Gibbons (Ealing Trailfinders, ENG)
Tom Hicks (Rotherham Titans, ENG)
Steve McColl (Yorkshire Carnegie, ENG)
Bill Meakes (Western Force, AUS)
Dan Murphy (Released, REL)
Steph Reynolds (Released, REL)
Elliott Stooke (Bath Rugby, ENG)
Nick Wood (Retired, RET)
Matt Scott is a fantastic signing for Gloucester, he will give them a distributing option and along with Andy Symons there is depth at centre. Tom Denton is also a promising name.
Nick Wood and Rob Cook have been great for the squad over the years and losing them will hurt Gloucester. Many of the departures will not be too badly missed.
My Gloucester Rugby 23
15 Billy Burns 14 Jonny May 13 Henry Trinder 12 Matt Scott 11 Charlie Sharples 10 Billy Twelvetrees 9 Greig Laidlaw (Captain)
1 Nicky Thomas 2 Richard Hibbard 3 John Afoa 4 Tom Savage 5 Jeremy Thrush 6 Ross Moriarty 7 Matt Kvesic 8 Ben Morgan
16 Tom Lindsay 17 Yann Thomas 18 Paul Doran-Jones 19 James Hudson 20 Sione Kalamfoni 21 Callum Braley 22 James Hook 23 David Halaifonua
Gloucester have the squad to build on last season but other teams have strengthened better than Gloucester.