Preview: Harlequins v Gloucester

Date published: April 10 2015

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Harlequins make five changes to the team which played Saracens two weeks ago for this Saturday's game against Gloucester.

Ollie Lindsay-Hague and Charlie Walker join Marland Yarde in the back-three, with Aseli Tikoirotuma named at outside centre.

In the forwards, Matt Shields starts at tighthead prop in place of the injured Kyle Sinckler. Nick Easter moves to the second-row as Luke Wallace is named in the back-row with Chris Robshaw and Jack Clifford.

Meanwhile, as they return to Premiership action, Gloucester opt for continuity in their team selection, making just two changes to the side that defeated Connacht in Europe last weekend.

The two changes are both in the pack. Tom Palmer picked up a knock in the 14-7 win over the Irish province, while Matt Kvesic is rested. James Hudson and Jacob Rowan come into the starting line-up.

It's eighth against ninth in the Premiership table with Quins ahead of Gloucester by just two points and both teams will be looking to finish the season in a positive manner.

The Cherry and Whites may have a European semi-final to look forward to next weekend, but Nick Walshe insists that the team's focus is completely on this weekend and the game at the Stoop.

"All we've done this week is focus on this weekend. The boys just want to put in a good performance. We want to go down to the Stoop and perform well and try and get the win and back up a decent performance against Connacht," he said.

"We've been a little bit inconsistent, a bit up and down. Northampton was a great performance, Sale was very poor, Connacht was a good performance. We want to try and get that consistency and build into next week.

"So, we just want to put in a good performance at Quins which will be a tough game. They're obviously a very good and very dangerous side. The weather should be good on Saturday and both teams want to go out and play.

"Quins attack very well, they offload a lot, they carry a lot, they use inside and outside balls. So we have to concentrate in defence but also in attack because we want to play well and cause them problems.”

Form: The Kingsholm outfit have only won once in their last five league matches but overcame the Irish club 14-7 to progress to their first European semi-final since 2006.  They travel to the Stoop having lost three away matches in a row, but they have not lost four in succession on the road since September 2013. Harlequins also go in to the game in a poor run of from, having won only one of their last seven first team matches. They have not achieved a season's Premiership Rugby double against Gloucester since 1998/99.

The teams:

Harlequins: 15 Ollie Lindsay-Hague, 14 Marland Yarde, 13 Asaeli Tikoirotuma, 12 Harry Sloan, 11 Charlie Walker, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Jack Clifford, 7 Chris Robshaw, 6 Luke Wallace, 5 George Robson, 4 Nick Easter, 3 Matt Shields, 2 Dave Ward, 1 Joe Marler (c).

Replacements: 16 Rob Buchanan, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Darryl Marfo, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Netani Talei, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Ben Botica, 23 Ugo Monye.

Gloucester: 15 Steve McColl, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Bill Meakes, 12 Billy Twelvetrees (c), 11 Jonny May, 10 James Hook, 9 Greig Laidlaw, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Jacob Rowan, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 James Hudson, 4 Tom Savage, 3 John Afoa, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Sila Puafisi, 19 Mariano Galarza, 20 Ross Moriarty, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Billy Burns, 23 Henry Purdy.

Date: Saturday, April 11
Venue: The Stoop, London
Kick-off: 15:00 local (14:00 GMT)
Referee: Luke Pearce
Assistant Referees: Andrew Pearce, Kelvin Stewart
TMO: Rowan Kitt

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