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Twelvetrees wants clinical display

Gloucester captain Billy Twelvetrees has urged his team to cut out "silly mistakes" ahead of Friday night's Aviva Premiership clash against rock-bottom London Welsh.

Twelvetrees and company head to the Kassam Stadium after being beaten by Northampton and Exeter, while it required an impressive fightback from 17-3 adrift before they saw off Kingsholm visitors Sale Sharks a fortnight ago.

A new-look Gloucester squad is inevitably taking time to knit together, but Twelvetrees is not unduly troubled and believes that early-season teething troubles can easily be fixed.

"It's a simple game," he said. "It's about getting over the gain-line, working hard for each other and picking the right options.

"When you don't pick the right options in defence or attack, make poor decisions at the breakdown and give penalties away, you are suddenly behind on the scoreboard.

"We have to cut that out, and from (numbers) 1-15 we're not good enough at doing that at the moment. But you can also look at it as a positive because if we cut these silly mistakes out we will be there or thereabouts and performing well.

"Good teams are very disciplined in all areas of the park, whether that's in giving away penalties or when to play the ball and when not to play the ball.

"We have to get up to speed on that and the way we play the game, and we will get the results when that comes.

"We are putting teams under stress. We scored three tries (against Exeter) and we are probably not where we want to be in attack, but we have that belief and it's just about doing the right things."

Gloucester boss David Humphreys has made four changes for the trip to Oxford, with scrum-half Dan Robson, lock Elliott Stooke and flanker Matt Kvesic all making their first starts this term, while John Afoa returns at tighthead prop.

London Welsh also show four switches, including one personnel move, as they look to break their duck after conceding 151 points in losing to Exeter, Bath and Sale.

Centre Tom May and wing Rhys Crane are the respective replacements for injured pair Tim Molenaar (knee) and Seb Stegmann (hamstring), while Ollie Stedman starts at number eight and Lachlan McCaffrey features in the blindside flanker's role with Peter Browne absent through injury.

"The first few games have been really tough for us, and we've got some obvious errors to rectify," Exiles head coach Justin Burnell said.

"As a group, the coaches, management and players all felt our performance in our first home game of the season against Exeter was unacceptable - we let a lot of people down. We will be looking to address that on Friday."


From Belfast Telegraph