Preview: Gloucester v Harlequins

Date published: February 21 2014

Mike Tindall will make his 200th Premiership appearance on Saturday as he skippers Gloucester against Harlequins.

Mike Tindall will make his 200th Premiership appearance on Saturday as he skippers Gloucester against Harlequins.

Tindall will lead a side that sees three changes from the line up that went so close at Welford Road against Leicester Tigers last weekend.

All the changes are in the pack with Rupert Harden, James Hudson and Gareth Evans replacing Sila Puafisi, Will James and Ben Morgan respectively.

The Cherry and Whites picked up a losing bonus point against the Tigers but will be looking to get back to winning ways against a tough opponent.

Previewing the game with the local media this week, Director of Rugby Nigel Davies stressed that Gloucester's performances have been good in recent weeks without necessarily getting the deserved rewards.

“The belief and faith of the group was pretty evident in the performance at Welford Road. There were a couple of things that happened in the game that affected the outcome, which they always will,” said Davies.

“But we had our chances to put the game to bed. We didn't take those and that's probably a sign of where we are. The slight irony is that the past few weeks have seen some of our better performances.

“But we do need that W, it goes without saying. Once we get that, the group will get more belief and confidence and we can take that on. We're working hard and doing a lot of good stuff at the moment, but a win would be significant.”

Meanwhile, Harlequins have made four changes to the side that beat Newcastle Falcons last weekend at The Stoop.

In the front-row, Joe Gray starts at hooker alongside Mark Lambert. Tighthead prop Kyle Sinckler will make his first start of the season.

George Robson returns to the second-row and partners Nick Kennedy, with number eight Nick Easter captaining the side from an unchanged back-row.

There is just one change to the backline as Tim Molenaar is named in place of Jordan Turner-Hall who picked up a knock in training this week.

In squad news, following medical advice, it has been confirmed that Will Collier will be out until the tail end of the season at best with a neck injury sustained in the Heineken Cup match against Scarlets in January.

Form: Gloucester have suffered three successive losses in the Aviva Premiership since beating London Irish in Reading on 29th December. The Cherry and Whites have won only two Premiership Rugby games at Kingsholm this season, only Newcastle and Worcester have fared worse on their own turf. Harlequins two defeats in the Premiership since round 5 came at Bath, in round 10, and Northampton in round 12 – their last two away games – and have not lost three in a row on their travels since April 2011. The last 14 encounters between the clubs in the Premiership have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst Harlequins have not been victorious at Kingsholm in the competition since 13th February 1999.

The teams:

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Mike Tindall (c), 11 Martyn Thomas, 10 Ryan Mills, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 James Hudson, 4 Elliot Stooke, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Nick Wood
Replacements: 16 Huia Edmonds, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Yann Thomas, 19 Will James, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Jimmy Cowan, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Shane Monahan

Harlequins: 15 Ollie Lindsay-Hague, 14 Sam Smith, 13 Tom Casson, 12 Tim Molenaar, 11 Ugo Monye, 10 Ben Botica, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Nick Easter (c), 7 Luke Wallace, 6 Maurie Fa'asavalu, 5 George Robson, 4 Nick Kennedy, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Mark Lambert
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Darryl Marfo, 18 Paul Doran Jones, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Tom Guest, 21 Sam Stuart, 22 Louis Grimoldby, 23 Paul Sackey

Date: Saturday 22nd February
Venue: Kingsholm
Kick-off: 1400 (local and GMT)
Referee: Greg Garner (Eng)
Assistant referees: Andy Watson, Ashley Rowden (both Eng)
TMO: Robin Goodliffe (Eng)