David Halaifonua to make first start for Gloucester Rugby at Exeter Chiefs
For immediate release: Friday 2 January 2015
Issued on behalf of
Gloucester Rugby’s first team selection for 2015, Saturday’s Aviva Premiership fixture at Exeter Chiefs, sees Tongan international David Halaifonua named for his first start for the club.
Halaifonua will start on the right wing at Sandy Park with Charlie Sharples moving to full back in one of three changes to the team that started against Wasps last weekend.
The other two changes are in the pack, where Darren Dawidiuk starts at hooker and Ben Morgan, who was confirmed as having signed a new contract with the club on Friday morning, returns at number eight.
Head Coach Laurie Fisher was on media duties this week and stressed the need for Gloucester to start to finish off close games, such as the one against Exeter at Kingsholm earlier this season.
“We’re obviously disappointed with where we are in the table. It’s come about because of our inability to close out close games. That’s our challenge in the second half of the season, to turn those close games into wins.
“We finished the game strongly against them (Exeter) at home earlier in the season and had a real opportunity to close that game out which we didn’t take.
“Our major concern is about ourselves so we haven’t made too much of the fact that they’ve lost their last two games. Except they’re probably hungry for a win at home.
“We need to be disciplined, to get on the right side of the referee, to make sure all those things are in place. The first round was three tries to one to us and we lose the game. We have to make sure we’re squeaky clean in everything we do.”
Charlie Sharples; David Halaifonua, Mark Atkinson, Billy Twelvetrees (capt), Jonny May; James Hook, Greig Laidlaw; Nick Wood, Darren Dawidiuk, John Afoa; Tom Savage, Tom Palmer; Sione Kalamafoni, Matt Kvesic, Ben Morgan
Aleki Lutui, Yann Thomas, Shaun Knight, Elliott Stooke, Gareth Evans, Dan Robson, Billy Burns, Bill Meakes