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One change as Lightning head to table-topping Gloucester-Hartpury

Loughborough Lightning name a largely unchanged starting line-up as Rhys Edwards’ side prepare to travel to league leaders Gloucester-Hartpury on Saturday. 

Following a romping 62-5 win at cinch Stadium at Franklin’s Gardens last weekend, Loughborough hit the road in Round 7 of the Allianz Premier 15s to face top-of-the-table Gloucester. 

The Cherry and Whites are unbeaten in their six Premier 15s outings so far this season, while Lightning sit in eighth position after claiming their first win of the season against Wasps. 

Bo Westcombe-Evans comes in to start on Loughborough’s wing this weekend, while there’s a shift in Lightning’s backs that sees Helen Nelson start at fly-half and Carys Williams-Morris move into the centres. 

Lauren Bolger and Bulou Mataitoga join Westcombe-Evans in the back three in Gloucester, while centre Emma Hardy joins Williams-Morris to start in Lightning’s midfield for the fifth week running. 

Jess Weaver – one of last weekend’s ten try-scorers – lines up at scrum-half once again, partnering Scotland international Nelson behind Loughborough’s unchanged forward pack.

Leah Bartlett, Bryony Field and Christine Belisle pack down in the front row for the fourth consecutive week, while Emma Wassell joins Cath O’Donnell in the engine room again. 

And Rachel Malcolm captains the side from the back row, joining Sadia Kabeya and Sarah Hunter there for the second week in a row. 

GLOUCESTER HARTPURY vs LOUGHBOROUGH LIGHTNING
Allianz Premier 15s, Round 7
Saturday 14 January, 2023
ALPAS Arena
Kick-off: 3pm

15 Bulou Mataitoga
14 Lauren Bolger
13 Carys Williams-Morris
12 Emma Hardy
11 Bo Westcombe-Evans
10 Helen Nelson
9 Jess Weaver

1 Leah Bartlett
2 Bryony Field
3 Christine Belisle
4 Emma Wassell
5 Cath O’Donnell
6 Rachel Malcolm (c)
7 Sadia Kabeya
8 Sarah Hunter

Replacements:
16 Maja Meuller
17 Katie Trevarthen
18 Detysha Harper
19 Morwenna Talling
20 Daisy Hibbert-Jones
21 Sara Svoboda
22 Lucy Weaver
23 Georgina Tasker

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