Planet Rugby



Preview: Gloucester v Harlequins

18th November 2011 13:03


lesley vainikolo gloucester v worcester 2011

Lesley Vainikolo: Returns to Gloucester's starting line-up

Gloucester have made two changes to their starting XV for Saturday's Heineken Cup clash with Harlequins at Kingsholm.

It's one change in the backs for coach Bryan Redpath and one new face up front as Gloucester try to become the first team to beat Harlequins this season.

Lesley Vainikolo is named on the left wing and makes his first start since the LV= Cup defeat away at Leicester almost a month ago while Scott Lawson comes in at hooker for only his second start since his return from World Cup duty with Scotland.

With those exceptions, it's the same squad that performed so heroically in Toulouse last weekend, only losing to a late Clement Poitrenaud try which dashed hopes of a memorable away win.

Redpath knows that his team will have to be at their best at the weekend but feels that they're heading in the right direction.

"We've been great physically and mentally over the past three weeks and have got to carry that over into this weekend," he said.

"Quins showed great resilience against Connacht last weekend when they had to and took their chances when they arose.

"It'll be a great challenge for us on Saturday but one we should be looking forward to.

"Being the Heineken, it's a little bit different, there's a bit of a buzz about it. They've started the season really well but we always have a massive incentive to do well at home. It's a great opportunity for us to show what we can against a team bang in form," added Redpath.

Meanwhile, Harlequins have made three changes to the starting line-up that beat Connacht at the Stoop last week.

The rotation continues at hooker, with Joe Gray switching back in to start alongside Joe Marler and James Johnston, with Chris Brooker moving to the bench.

Argentinian Tomas Vallejos makes his first league start of the year, since returning from the Rugby World Cup, replacing the injured Olly Kohn in the second row. The starting back row remains unchanged.

There is only one change in the backs. Matt Hopper makes his first competitive start for the club, replacing George Lowe, who injured his ankle against Connacht and is still waiting for the medics to determine the precise nature of the injury.

The bench sees the return of Tim Fairbrother from injury and Charlie Matthews, who continues to impress after his excellent start to the season. Danny Care continues his comeback, taking his place on the bench alongside Rory Clegg and Tom Casson, who cover the outside backs.

The teams:

Gloucester: 15 Jonny May, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Mike Tindall, 11 Lesley Vainikolo, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Rory Lawson,8 Alasdair Strokosch. 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Peter Buxton (c), 5 Jim Hamilton, 4 Will James, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Tom Savage, 20 Luke Narraway, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Tim Taylor, 23 Tom Voyce.

Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Seb Stegmann, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Sam Smith, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Karl Dickson,8 Nick Easter. 7 Chris Robshaw, 6 Maurie Faasavalu, 5 George Robson, 4 Tomas Vallejos, 3 James Johnston, 2 Joe Gray, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Chris Brooker, 17 Nic Mayhew, 18 Tim Fairbrother, 19 Charlie Matthews, 20 Luke Wallace, 21 Danny Care, 22 Rory Clegg, 23 Tom Casson.

Date: Saturday, November 19
Kick-off: 15:40
Venue: Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester
Referee: Christophe Berdos (France)

  • Gloucester Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
Saturday , December 20
Gloucester vs Bath15:00
Saturday , December 27
Gloucester vs Wasps15:00
Saturday , January 3
Exeter vs Gloucester15:00
Saturday , January 10
Gloucester vs Saracens15:00
Saturday , February 14
Leicester vs Gloucester15:00
Saturday , February 21
Gloucester vs London Welsh15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , January 31
Gloucester vs Ospreys15:00
Saturday , February 7
Gloucester vs Harlequins15:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Sunday , December 7
Gloucester vs Zebre15:15
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
  • Gloucester Results
Recent Results
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
Friday , November 14
Gloucester 15 - 22 HarlequinsGloucester vs Harlequins Report
More Aviva Premiership results
LV= Cup
Sunday , November 9
London Welsh 9 - 18 Gloucester
Saturday , November 1
Exeter 28 - 27 Gloucester
More LV= Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Oyonnax 15 - 25 Gloucester
Thursday , October 16
Gloucester 55 - 0 Brive
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , October 11
Saracens 28 - 21 Gloucester
More Aviva Premiership results
  • Table
Aviva Premiership Table
7Sale Sharks820
10Newcastle Falcons813
11London Irish812