Planet Rugby



Preview: Gloucester v Leicester

25th November 2011 10:32


Luke Narraway Gloucester

Luke Narraway: Back in the mix

Luke Narraway returns to action to skipper Gloucester as they welcome Leicester to Kingsholm on Saturday in an Aviva Premiership clash.

The number eight was forced to contend with a place on the bench for the Cherry and Whites' Heineken Cup clash last weekend, but returns to the starting XV this weekend. Alasdair Strokosch shifts to the blindside flank to accommodate Narraway.

Bryan Redpath has made one further change for the game, with full-back Olly Morgan returning to action after missing his side's last two fixtures due to a shoulder injury.

Gloucester have endured a mixed back of results thus far this season, winning four and losing four of their first eight Aviva Premiership clashes. Redpath knows his team will have their work cut out against the Tigers.

"Their tenth position in the table doesn't reflect on the ability of their squad. It just reflects on their injury list and the World Cup period," said the Scot.

"They'll be fighting in every game now because they need to push for that top four and that's what Leicester always target.

"It's not going to be easy and it shouldn't be easy. We have to earn our wins and we didn't do that last week."

Leicester boss Richard Cockerill has been forced into a number of changes, with Andy Forsyth, Geoff Parling and Julian Salvi all ruled out by injury.

Billy Twelvetrees comes in for Forsyth in the midfield while George Skivington slots into the second row in place of Parling. Ben Woods takes over the number seven jersey from Salvi.

In one tactical change, Martin Castrogiovanni replaces Dan Cole at prop with Cole dropping to the bench.

After a poor start to the season, Cockerill is well aware that his team are entering a key phase in their campaign.

"This is a big month of fixtures with Gloucester and Northampton, and then the European double-header with Clermont Auvergne," he said.

"Gloucester have a good forward pack and a dangerous set of backs, and Kingsholm is always a tough place to go.

"But we put in a good all-round performance against Ulster last weekend, our defence was good throughout and we got the basics of the game right and came through in the end. Our recent form has been pretty good and we obviously want that to continue."

Form: Gloucester Rugby have won just one of their last five encounters in all competitions: 24-19 at Exeter in Aviva Premiership Rugby on 5 November. Gloucester's impressive home record which saw them defeated just once at Kingsholm in 32 matches between November 2009 and October 2011 is now a pale memory as they have suffered back to back defeats at their once proud fortress.Leicester Tigers are unbeaten in their last five games in all competitions, and have won their last two away matches at Sale and Aironi. The two teams have already met at Welford Road this season, where the home side ran out 40-14 victors in the Anglo-Welsh Cup. Tigers have not won at Kingsholm since their 20-8 victory in the Premiership on 7 September 2008.

The teams:

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

Leicester: 15 Geordan Murphy (c), 14 Horacio Agulla, 13 Matt Smith, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Alesana Tuilagi, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Sam Harrison, 8 Thomas Waldrom, 7 Ben Woods, 6 Tom Croft, 5 George Skivington, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Martin Castrogiovanni, 2 George Chuter, 1 Marcos Ayerza.
Replacements: 16 Rob Hawkins, 17 Boris Stankovich, 18 Dan Cole, 19 Steve Mafi, 20 Ed Slater, 21 Ben Youngs, 22 Jeremy Staunton, 23 Scott Hamilton.

Date: Saturday, November 26
Kick-off: 14:15
Venue: Kingsholm
Referee: JP Doyle

  • 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