Planet Rugby

Preview: Gloucester v Wasps

01st November 2013 09:40

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SKY_MOBILE Andy Hazell - Gloucester LV= Cup

Andy Hazell: Returns for Gloucester

Flanker Andy Hazell will make his first start of the season for Gloucester in Saturday's Premiership clash with Wasps at Kingsholm.

The return of Gloucester's longest serving current player is one of seven changes that director of rugby Nigel Davies makes to his starting line-up, from the side that took the field at Bath last weekend.

Yann Thomas, Huia Edmonds and Shaun Knight make up a new front row, while Will James comes in to partner James Hudson in the second row.

Behind the scrum, Dan Robson gets the nod at scrum-half, and Henry Trinder's release from England duty enables him to line up alongside Ryan Mills in the Gloucester midfield.

It's a big game for the Cherry and Whites as they look to get back to winning ways after last Friday's defeat at the Rec and aim to start moving back up the Aviva Premiership table.

Despite Gloucester's current position in the table, Davies remains upbeat but acutely aware that Wasps come to Kingsholm on a high having defeated Leicester last weekend.

"We're hugely disappointed with where we are, but I'm not worried," said Davies.

"I know the quality of this squad and we're going to start winning sooner rather than later.

"We hope to start that on Saturday, although it'll be tough against a Wasps team who are coming off the back of a good win. They'll have a lot of of confidence.

"We've just got to start to realise certain things about our game. Against Bath we gave away 20 penalties, and you're not going to win games like that.

"It takes away a large part of your game and it gives a lot to the opposition. That's the priority. We get that right and things will change."

Meanwhile, London Wasps boss Dai Young has made three changes to his run-on side.

Nathan Hughes and Charlie Hayter take the spots of Ed Jackson and Ben Jacobs, while James Haskell makes his first start of the season, taking the number seven shirt as Guy Thompson shifts to the bench.

Other than that the side is unchanged from the team that beat Leicester Tigers last weekend, as Young's men go in search of a fourth win in a row in all competitions.

Young said: "The squad are all fully aware of the challenge we face this weekend. Kingsholm is a tough place to go to and that has been reflected in our visits there in recent years.

"However, for us, this game presents an opportunity to string together four wins on the bounce in all competitions and to back up last weekend's win at Adams Park."

Form: Nigel Davies' men find themselves in 11th position in the Aviva Premiership, with just Dean Ryan's Worcester sitting behind them in the league table. Davies' Gloucester has won just two of their league games this season, with their solo victory at Kingsholm a 26-24-win over high-flying Northampton Saints in round three. Comparatively, London Wasps have lost just one of their last five fixtures in all tournaments: 12-19 at Saracens in the Premiership in October and are high on confidence having beaten Leicester Tigers last time out. Wasps' away record though is not the best; their most recent away victory in the Premiership was 17-16 against Harlequins at the Twickenham Stoop in February. The last four encounters between the two clubs have all been won by the home side on the day, while the Londoners' only victory at Kingsholm since 2006 was 35-6 in October 2009.

The teams:

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 James Simpson-Daniel, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Jonny May, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Andy Hazell, 6 Tom Savage (capt), 5 James Hudson, 4 Will James, 3 Shaun Knight, 2 Huia Edmonds, 1 Yann Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 James Gibbons, 18 Rupert Harden, 19 Elliott Stooke, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Jimmy Cowan, 22 Charlie Sharples, 23 Matt Kvesic

Wasps: 15 Elliot Daly, 14 Christian Wade, 13 Chris Bell (c), 12 Charlie Hayter, 11 Josh Bassett, 10 Andy Goode, 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Nathan Hughes. 7 James Haskell, 6 Ashley Johnson, 5 Kearnan Myall, 4 Tom Palmer, 3 Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2 Carlo Festuccia, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay, 17 Simon McIntyre, 18 Will Taylor, 19 James Cannon, 20 Guy Thompson, 21 Charlie Davies, 22 Joe Carlisle, 23 Tommy Bell.

Date: Saturday, November 2
Venue: Kingsholm
Kick-off: 17:00
Referee: J P Doyle
Assistant referees: Nigel Carrick and Gareth Copsey.
TMO: Rowan Kitt.

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