Planet Rugby



Preview: Gloucester v Newcastle

21st March 2014 11:22


Mike Tindall Gloucester 2014

Skipper: Mike Tindall

Veteran centre Mike Tindall will captain Gloucester as they welcome Premiership rivals Newcastle Falcons to Kingsholm on Saturday.

The Gloucester side shows only two changes from the side that started in the last game at Kingsholm, the 25-20 victory over Harlequins.

Those changes see Shaun Knight start at tighthead prop in place of Rupert Harden, while Martyn Thomas takes over from Shane Monahan on the left wing.

Director of Rugby Nigel Davies resists the temptation to throw his returning England players straight back into the thick of the action. Ben Morgan and Jonny May are named amongst the replacements, however, with Billy Twelvetrees given extra time to get over an infected knee.

Talking to the local media this week, forwards coach Andrew Stanley feels that the break from action came at a good time for Gloucester.

"The boys were in need of a rest. They took a few days to recharge their batteries and recover physically and mentally," said Stanley.

"But last week we had a really good week in training, a tough week, and have carried that over into this week as we've built up nicely for Newcastle. We're looking forward to Saturday.

"We've watched Newcastle a lot over the past few weeks. We've obviously played them twice already this season and they're a side that is constantly improving.

"Their performances against Northampton and Leicester show how far they've come as they've got used to playing them in the Premiership again. We're certainly not taking them lightly, they'll offer us stern opposition."

Meanwhile, Dean Richards has made four changes to his Newcastle Falcons side for the matchup.

After scoring arguably the try of the match in England U20s' 67-7 victory over Wales U20s in the Six Nations at Kingston Park a fortnight ago, Zach Kibirige starts on the wing.

The Middlesbrough-born teenager replaces Lee Smith, who drops to the bench while former Munster man Danny Barnes returns at centre.

Meanwhile, Oliver Tomaszczyk comes in for the suspended Kieran Brookes at tighthead with Chris York rounding off the changes at number eight, replacing the injured Mark Wilson.

"Gloucester are a side that like to throw the ball around, and you only have to watch them throughout the season to see that they play with a lot of ambition which is nice to see," said Richards.

"I used to love playing at Kingsholm and if you haven't played down there then I think you've missed out on something special.

"It's one of those places where you never forget once you've played there and it has a lasting memory on you."

Form: Gloucester Rugby's solo victory in their last five Aviva Premiership Rugby matches was 25-20 at home to Harlequins in Round 15. Gloucester have won their last two games at Kingsholm in all tournaments, whilst another victory will give them their best run at the famous venue in twelve months. Newcastle Falcons have lost their last ten Premiership matches, another defeat would equal their worst ever run in the competition, set in 2011. The Falcons' two away victories this season were against Sale in round 2 and at Worcester in Round 5. Gloucester have already beaten Newcastle twice this season, once in the Premiership at Kingston Park and once at Kingsholm in the Anglo-Welsh Cup. The Falcons have won only once at Gloucester since 1998: 29-20 in this equivalent fixture 2011/12 season (a round 20 encounter in April).

The teams:

For Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Mike Tindall (c), 11 Martyn Thomas, 10 Ryan Mills, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 James Hudson, 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 Shaun Knight, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Nick Wood

16 Huia Edmonds, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Sila Puafisi, 19 Will James, 20 Ben Morgan, 21 Jimmy Cowan, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Jonny May.

For Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Noah Cato, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Danny Barnes, 11 Zach Kibirige, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Mike Blair, 8 Chris York, 7 Andy Saull, 6 Will Welch (c), 5 Fraser McKenzie, 4 Scott MacLeod, 3 Oliver Tomaszczyk, 2 Scott Lawson, 1 Rob Vickers
Replacements: 16 George McGuigan, 17 Gary Strain, 18 Scott Wilson, 19 Sean Tomes, 20 Richard Mayhew, 21 Warren Fury, 22 Joel Hodgson, 23 Lee Smith

Date: Saturday, March 22
Venue: Kingsholm
Kickoff: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Wayne Barnes
Assistant Referees: Roger Baileff, Gordon Goodliffe
TMO: Trevor Fisher

  • Gloucester Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs GloucesterLondon Irish vs Gloucester Preview
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
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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