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Danny Cipriani return deals vital boost to Gloucester ahead of Munster clash

Danny Cipriani has been named in Gloucester’s team to take on Munster in the Champions Cup on Friday night, ending a three-game absence through injury.

The Gloucester fly-half starts against the Irish province after time out recovering from a chest muscle injury, dealing a major boost to head coach Johan Ackermann who has seen his side slump to two defeats without Cipriani.

The showdown with Munster is a must-win match for the Cherry and Whites in Pool 2 of the Champions Cup. Just four points separate them from pool leaders Munster, while Exeter take on Castres on Sunday.

Answering queries over whether Cipriani has been rushed back following Premiership defeats to Sale and Leicester, Ackermann said that the England international had been closely monitored all week.

“Danny will pass his fitness test during the week and hopefully, he’ll make that marker,” Ackermann told Gloucestershire Live.

“I haven’t had time now to debate with him now, but afterwards I’ll speak with him and the medical staff – and if they’re clear that they’ve done everything possible, testing him physically then he’ll be up for selection.

“If you ask Danny, he’s ready to go, so that’s a positive if a player wants to play and he’s ready to go, so they’re good signs for us.”

Gloucester: 15 Tom Hudson, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Billy Twelvetrees, 12 Mark Atkinson, 11 Ollie Thorley, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Callum Braley; 1 Josh Hohneck, 2 Henry Walker, 3 Fraser Balmain, 4 Ed Slater, 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 6 Franco Mostert, 7 Lewis Ludlow, 8 Ben Morgan (capt)

Replacements: 16. Franco Marais, 17. Alex Seville, 18. Ciaran Knight; 19. Freddie Clarke, 20. Gareth Evans; 21. Ben Vellacott, 22. Owen Williams, 23. Henry Trinder

Munster: 15 Mike Haley, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Chris Farrell, 12 Rory Scannell, 11 Keith Earls, 10 Joey Carbery, 9 Conor Murray; 1 Dave Kilcoyne, 2 Niall Scannell, 3 Stephen Archer, 4 Jean Kleyn, 5 Tadhg Beirne, 6 Peter O’Mahony (capt), 7 Tommy O’Donnell, 8 CJ Stander


16 Rhys Marshall, 17 Jeremy Loughman, 18 John Ryan, 19 Billy Holland, 20 Arno Botha, 21 Alby Mathewson, 22 Tyler Bleyendaal, 23 Dan Goggin

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