Match preview | Gloucester-Hartpury v Bristol Bears

Match preview | Gloucester-Hartpury v Bristol Bears

It all comes down to this.

The destination of the Allianz Premiership Women's Rugby trophy will be decided at Sandy Park on Saturday as reigning champions Gloucester-Hartpury take on Bristol Bears in an all-Westcountry clash.

Gloucester overcame Exeter Chiefs to make the showpiece while Bristol earned a stunning away win at Saracens to book their place.


Gloucester Rugby make just one change to the matchday 23 which took part in the semi-final against Exeter Chiefs.

The starting XV is unchanged, with the only alteration coming among the replacements as Steph Else comes in for Carmen Castellucci.

Lleucu George, who scored two tries against Chiefs, forms the half-back partnership with Mo Hunt while Zoe Aldcroft lines up at No.8.

Bristol Bears welcome back Sarah Bern, who makes a well-timed return from a long-term injury to join England teammates Hannah Botterman and Lark Atkin-Davies in an all-Red Roses front row.

That marks one of three changes from the side that beat Saracens at StoneX Stadium in the semi-final.

Courtney Keight replaces the injured Deborah Wills, who sustained a knee injury last time out, on the wing, while Scotland international Meryl Smith is named at full back with Ella Lovibond moving to the bench.


- Gloucester- Hartpury have won 11 of their last 14 Allianz Premiership Women’s Rugby matches against Bristol Bears (L3), including each of their last six, however, three of their last four wins against the Bears have come by margins of fewer than 10 points.

-Bristol Bears have won six of their last seven Allianz Premiership Women’s Rugby matches (L1), only failing to beat Sale Sharks during the final round of the regular season (24-27) –the Bears have scored 24+ points in each of their seven games during that period.

-Gloucester-Hartpury (51.1%) and Bristol Bears (50.2%) are the only two teams with dominant carry rates over 50% in this season’s Allianz Premiership Women’s Rugby – Gloucester- Hartpury also have the highest gainline success rate of any team in the league this term (67.3%).

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