Preview: Leeds v Gloucester

Date published: January 28 2011

Leeds will be looking to record their first win of this season's LV Cup when they take on Gloucester at Headingley Carnegie on Sunday.

Leeds Carnegie will be looking to record their first win of this season's LV Cup when they take on Gloucester at Headingley Carnegie on Sunday.

With Hendre Fourie and Steve Thompson away on international duty, youngsters Phil Nilsen and Jacob Rowan are drafted into the starting line-up.

England U20 captain Rowan has spent time on loan at Doncaster this season whilst Nilsen has been Thompson's understudy for most of this season.

Academy hooker Scott Freer is set to make his first appearance in the first team this season after recovering from a knee injury last season.

Australian international Lachlan MacKay returns to the starting line-up at fly-half whilst Ceiron Thomas reverts to full-back.

Joint leading try-scorer this season, Lee Blackett, is also back on the wing whilst Henry Fa'afili will be looking to continue his good recent form in the centres alongside Scott Barrow.

Meanwhile, Scotland international second row Jim Hamilton will make his first start since November 21 for Gloucester's trip to Leeds.

Hamilton suffered a fractured metatarsal in Scotland's 19-16 victory over Samoa in the end-of-year internationals and has been patiently working his way back to fitness since that point.

Hamilton returns to partner Will James in the second row as coach Bryan Redpath makes several changes to the side that defeated Agen in the Amlin Challenge Cup campaign last week.

Only Tom Voyce and Freddie Burns remain in the back-line from that game and only James and Akapusi Qera amongst the forwards.

However, with Gloucester still well and truly in the mix in Pool Three of the LV= Cup, Redpath's starting line-up still features seven full internationals with two more on the bench.

Gloucester made the final of this competition last season having lost their opening two pool games and Pool Three is very tight as things stand.

So, Redpath is under no illusions as to what needs to be done at a venue where Gloucester lost in the Aviva Premiership on New Year's Day.

“If we're going to progress in the tournament then we have to win away at Leeds. It's irrelevant what happened up there a month ago. That just reinforces the mindset, not just about Leeds, but about everything,” he said.

“We've got to concentrate on what we do. Last year was exactly the same. We needed two wins and two five pointers to go through and we did that.

“We've some disruptions with players away for internationals so it's a chance for some others to put their hands up. It's a good test for us as a club to go up to Leeds and perform and we'll see what comes out of it.”

The teams:

Leeds: 15 Ceiron Thomas, 14 Lee Blackett, 13 Henry Faafili, 12 Scott Barrow, 11 Mike Stephenson, 10 Lachlan Mackay, 9 Warren Fury, 8 Alfie Tooala, 7 Jacob Rowan, 6 Rhys Oakley, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Tom Denton, 3 Phil Swainston, 2 Phil Nilsen, 1 Mike MacDonald.
Replacements: 16 Scott Freer, 17 Gareth Hardy, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 James Craig, 20 Oli Stedman, 21 Scott Mathie, 22James Tincknell, 23 Leigh Hinton.

Gloucester: 15 Charlie Sharples, 14 Tom Voyce, 13 Jonny May, 12 Tim Molenaar, 11 Lesley Vainikolo, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Matt Cox,8 Akapusi Qera, 7 Alasdair Strokosch, 6 Jim Hamilton, 5 Will James, 4 Rupert Harden, 3 Olivier Azam, 2 Yann Thomas, 1 Dave Lewis.
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Nick Wood, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Alex Brown, 20 Peter Buxton, 21 Jordi Pasqualin, 22 Nicky Robinson, 23 Tim Taylor.