Planet Rugby

Preview: Gloucester v Dragons

11th March 2011 12:28

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Jordi Pasqualin for Gloucester

Starter: Jordi Pasqualin

International call-ups mean that Bryan Redpath makes four changes for Gloucester's LV= Cup semi-final against the Dragons on Sunday.

The resumption of the Six Nations sees Rory Lawson, Scott Lawson and Alasdair Strokosch named in the Scotland squad while Mike Tindall and Paul Doran-Jones remain with England.

As a result, the changes to the team to face the Dragons largely reflect those absences. Jordi Pasqualin is in for Lawson in the only change to the backs whereas the pack is reshuffled.

Olivier Azam replaces Scott Lawson at hooker and Rupert Harden starts at tight head in place of Doran-Jones. Finally, the fit again Alex Brown is back to partner Jim Hamilton in the second row.

"We've had injuries and people coming back and forward but that's the nature of this tournament and this time of the season. We've got to get on with it," said Redpath.

"The key thing is that we understand that it's a semi final. We've got to ignore the past nine weeks and what's gone on and now really focus on this.

"We've played the Dragons a few times over the past couple of seasons and won some and lost some. We have to get our heads around that.

"We underperformed down there on a rainy night in the group stages and can't afford to do that again. It's a big Anglo Welsh derby and our mindset is going to be the key thing."

Meanwhile, Dragons Acting Head Coach Darren Edwards is boosted by the return of lock Luke Charteris who captains the Men of Gwent.

The dangerous back three of Martyn Thomas, Will Harries and Aled Brew are all back having missed last weekend's away game against Munster, with Adam Hughes as cover on the bench.

Half-backs Jason Tovey and Wayne Evans both start, with Matthew Jones and Jonathan Evans in reserve, whilst centres Tom Riley and Pat Leach complete the backline.

Charteris is joined in the second row by Adam Jones, with Adam Brown on the bench. Lloyd Burns starts at hooker, with Steve Jones, who captained the Men of Gwent in Cork last weekend, as cover. Promising props Phil Price and Dan Way complete the front row, with Hugh Gustafson and Pat Palmer as replacements.

In the back row, Toby Faletau reverts to his usual position at number eight, with Lewis Evans in the openside position Faletau filled last weekend. Blindside flanker Andrew Coombs completes the starting line-up, with Cross Keys captain Jevon Groves providing support from the bench.

The teams:

Gloucester: 15 Olly Morgan, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, 11 Tom Voyce, 10 Nicky Robinson, 9 Jordi Pasqualin, 8 Luke Narraway (capt), 7 Andy Hazell, 6 Peter Buxton, 5 Alex Brown, 4 Jim Hamilton, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Olivier Azam, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Will James, 20 Akapusi Qera, 21 Tim Taylor, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Jonny May

Dragons: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Will Harries, 13 Tom Riley, 12 Pat Leach, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Lewis Evans, 6 Andrew Coombs, 5 Adam Jones, 4 Luke Charteris (capt), 3 Dan Way, 2 Lloyd Burns, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Steve Jones, 17 Hugh Gustafson, 18 Pat Palmer, 19 Adam Brown, 20 Jevon Groves, 21 Adam Hughes, 22 Jonathan Evans, 23 Matthew Jones.

Date: Sunday, March 13
Kick-off: 13:00
Venue: Kingsholm
Referee: tba (France)
Assistant referees: Martin Fox (England), Paul Dix (England)

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Group A
LV= Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens416
2Gloucester410
3London Irish46
4Dragons44
Group B
LV= Cup Table
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1Exeter414
2Sale Sharks412
3Cardiff Blues410
4Leicester Tigers49
Group C
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PosTeamPPts
1Bath419
2Ospreys46
3Harlequins45
4Worcester45
Group D
LV= Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton418
2Newcastle Falcons49
3Scarlets48
4London Wasps45