WORLD Cup winner Jimmy Cowan will offer ideal breakdown grit against technical-minded Bordeaux, believes Nigel Davies.
Gloucester boss Davies expects a strong tackle-area contest with French Top 14 side Bordeaux Begles at Kingsholm tomorrow night (kick-off 7.45pm).
Cowan will make his full debut in tomorrow’s Amlin Challenge Cup clash, with Gloucester keen to kick on after last week’s 11-6 Mont de Marsan victory.
Martyn Thomas steps up at full-back, with James Simpson-Daniel back on the wing and Billy Twelvetrees starting at fly-half.
Dan Murphy gets his first start of the season at loosehead, with Huia Edmonds restored at hooker.
Skipper Jim Hamilton is back alongside Will James at lock, and Tom Savage is fit to take a seat on the bench.
Gloucester rugby director Davies expects a tough battle at the breakdown tomorrow night, and men like Cowan will help with that tussle.
Davies explained: “They are a pretty technical side, they concentrate on the tackle area, and so we’ve got to be ready for that.
“We’ve made changes again, but that was always the plan, so it means more players now have opportunities from the start.
“The victory in Mont de Marsan was important, and now we’ve got to keep kicking on.”
GLOUCESTER: Martyn Thomas, Charlie Sharples, Mike Tindall, Tim Molenaar, James Simpson-Daniel, Billy Twelvetrees, Jimmy Cowan, Dan Murphy, Huia Edmonds, Shaun Knight, Will James, Jim Hamilton (capt), Sione Kalamafoni, Akapusi Qera, Ben Morgan. Replacements: Koree Britton, Nick Wood, Rupert Harden, Tom Savage, Matt Cox, Dan Robson, Tim Taylor, Rob Cook.