Preview: Gloucester vs Newcastle

Date published: April 1 2011

Bryan Redpath and Alain Tait have rung the changes to their respective line-ups for Gloucester's clash with Newcastle.

Bryan Redpath and Alain Tait have rung the changes to their respective line-ups for Gloucester's clash with Newcastle on Saturday.

Looking to bounce back from last weekend's defeat to Harlequins, Redpath has made five changes to the Cherry and Whites starting XV, with four coming in the forward pack.

In the only change in the back-line, Jonny May comes in on the wing for the injured Charlie Sharples.

The second row is completely refurbished, with Dave Attwood and Will James making way for Alex Brown and Jim Hamilton. Attwood is named among the replacements.

Paul Doran-Jones is the only survivor from the front row that did duty against Quins, and he is joined by hooker Olivier Azam and prop Nick Wood.

Redpath admits his mean are eager to vanquish the memories of their poor performance at The Stoop.

“When you have a performance like last weekend, it's a great eye opener just to see how easily you can be up there one minute and down there the next,” said the Scot.

“Last weekend was embarrassing and we haven't hidden from that. There has to be some form of reaction to that result. We were poor.

“We've watched a lot of video and asked a lot of questions this week and, ultimately, the proof will be in the pudding on Saturday. We're not a bad side, we've come a long way.

“We have to get our focus right, concentrate on our own game and make sure we execute,” he added.

Newcastle too are coming off the back of a big defeat, having succumbed 24-9 to Saracens last time out, but Tait is confident his men can do the business against Gloucester.

“This team is definitely capable of getting points down there. The lads want to go down there and give a good account of themselves, as every team should do in this league,” said Tait.

“I was pleased with the way we played against Saracens on Sunday so hopefully we can do the same this weekend.”

Tait is backing his all new front row of Grant Shiells, Rob Vickers and Euan Murray to match Gloucester up front, help from flanker Mark Wilson who has been promoted from the bench.

In the final change, Tane T'uipulotu comes in on the wing in place of Tom Catterick with Alex Tait switching to full-back to accommodate Tu'uipulotu.


The two teams met in the final of the Anglo-Welsh Cup at Northampton two weeks ago with Gloucester running out victors.

Gloucester Rugby are now the only team left in Aviva Premiership Rugby with a 100% home winning record this season, and have not lost at Kingsholm in the Premiership since Wasps were the visitors on 24 October 2009.

Newcastle Falcons have picked up just five Premiership points on the road this season, winning at Leeds on 27 February and gaining a losing bonus point at Exeter in September.

The Falcons won 12-6 at Kingston Park in round eight and are going for a first season's double over Gloucester since 1997/98 when the Tynesiders gained their only previous victory at Kingsholm.

The teams:

Gloucester: 15 Freddie Burns, 14 Jonny May, 13 Tim Molenaar, 12 Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, 11 Tom Voyce, 10 Nicky Robinson, 9 Rory Lawson, 8 Luke Narraway, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Alasdair Strokosch, 5 Alex Brown, 4 Jim Hamilton, 3 Paul Doran-Jones, 2 Olivier Azam, 1 Nick Wood
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Alasdair Dickinson, 18 Rupert Harden, 19 Dave Attwood, 20 Brett Deacon, 21 Jordi Pasqualin, 22 Tim Taylor, 23 Henry Trinder

Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Tane Tu'uipulotu, 13 Rob Vickerman, 12 Luke Eves, 11 Rikki Sheriffe, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Micky Young, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Will Welch, 6 Mark Wilson, 5 Tim Swinson, 4 James Hudson, 3 Euan Murray, 2 Rob Vickers, 1 Grant Shiells
Replacements:16 Matt Thompson, 17 James Hall, 18 Kieran Brookes, 19 Glen Townson, 20 Alex Gray, 21 Chris Pilgrim, 22 James Fitzpatrick, 23 Tom Catterick

Date: Saturday, April 2
Venue: Kingsholm
Kick-off: 15:00 BST (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Sean Davey
Assistant referees: Nigel Carrick, Don Helme