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Preview: London Irish v Gloucester

04th May 2012 10:49


SKY_MOBILE 104325645 1 London Irish Bob Casey

Bob Casey: Last game for Exiles

Bob Casey will captain London Irish in his final match for the club in Saturday's Aviva Premiership match against Gloucester at Madejski Stadium.

The match will mark the end of a decade of service to the Exiles for the big Irishman who will be making his 235th and final appearance. Bob is the only change from the side that beat Worcester on the 21st April as Matt Garvey makes way for the departing skipper.

England international Delon Armitage will also play his last match in a London Irish shirt before departing for Toulon. He will play on the wing after scoring three tries in his last two matches.

London Irish legends Paul Hodgson and Kieran Roche, who are also leaving the club, are named among the replacements. It will also be the final match for Attack Coach Mike Catt who is leaving London Irish after eight seasons with the Club. Nick Kennedy is unavailable for selection due to injury.

"Tomorrow gives us the opportunity to continue the momentum we gained from the win over Worcester to take into our pre-season," said London Irish head coach Toby Booth.

"It will also mark the end of an era to players who have been great servants to our club. I am sure the supporters will turn up in their numbers to say goodbye. "

Meanwhile, Scottish international second row Jim Hamilton will captain Gloucester for the first time. The Cherry and Whites are playing largely for pride after a run of results that has seen them drop to eighth place in the table.

Carl Hogg has named a strong line up which sees several changes from the side that started against Sale Sharks a fortnight ago.

Tom Voyce is named at full-back with Jonny May partnering Mike Tindall in midfield as Tim Molenaar is unwell. Ollie Phillips gets a start on the wing.

Darren Dawidiuk is preferred to Scott Lawson at hooker while Tom Savage comes in for Peter Buxton on the blindside flank.

Alasdair Strokosch moves across from number eight to openside.

Speaking ahead of the game, Hogg admits that playing at the Madejski is a challenge but that training has gone well this week and Gloucester have plenty to play for.

"It's been a difficult end to the season but we intend to go down to London Irish and challenge ourselves. It's a difficult fixture but one we're looking forward to," he said.

"Training this week has been very buoyant, it's been very upbeat. It's our last game and the group have been enthused this week.

"As a professional, you take pride in going out and performing to the best of your ability and the enthusiasm and effort this week has been excellent. Hopefully, that will translate to the pitch on Saturday."

Meanwhile, Hamilton spoke of the honour of captaining the side:

"I'm very proud to have been asked to captain Gloucester for this game, and I hope I can show I'm worthy of that tomorrow," said the Scottish lock.

"Irish are a very dangerous side who like to move the ball around, and I'm sure the neutrals will be expecting an open game - but we've just got to do whatever it takes to win."

Form: London Irish's seven game losing streak ended at Worcester in round 21 of Aviva Premiership Rugby. The Exiles have lost their last three encounters at Madejski Stadium but have not lost four in a row at the venue in the Premiership since season 2004/05. Gloucester Rugby have lost their last five matches since beating table-topping Harlequins at Kingsholm on 25 February - their worst run in the competition since season 2000/01. Gloucester's only away victory in Aviva Premiership Rugby since early November came at Bath in round 15. The last ten fixtures between the two clubs in the Premiership have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst Gloucester have not been triumphant at Madejski Stadium since a 22-11 win on 10 November 2006.

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The teams:

London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Delon Armitage, 13 Jonathan Joseph, 12 Joe Ansbro, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Steve Shingler, 9 Darren Allinson, 8 Ofisa Treviranus 7 David Sisi, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Bob Casey (Captain), 4 Bryn Evans, 3 Leo Halavatau, 2 David Paice, 1 Max Lahiff.
Replacements: 16 James Buckland, 17 Paulica Ion, 18 Faan Rautenbach, 19 Matt Garvey, 20 Kieran Roche, 21 Marland Yarde, 22 Adrian Jarvis, 23 Paul Hodgson

Gloucester: 15 Tom Voyce, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Jonny May, 12 Mike Tindall, 11 Ollie Phillips, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Matt Cox, 7 Alasdair Strokosch, 6 Tom Savage, 5 Alex Brown, 4 Jim Hamilton (capt), 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Dan Murphy.
Replacements: 16 Scott Lawson, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Peter Buxton, 20 Akapusi Qera, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Tim Taylor, 23 Ian Clark

Date: Saturday, May 5
Venue: Madejski Stadium
Kick-off: 14:00 (13:00 GMT)
Referee: David Pearson
Assistant referees: Paul Dix, Stuart Terheege

  • London Irish Fixtures
Forthcoming Fixtures
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
Sunday , December 21
Wasps vs London Irish14:00
Friday , December 26
London Irish vs London Welsh15:00
Saturday , January 3
Saracens vs London Irish15:00
Sunday , January 11
London Irish vs Exeter15:00
Saturday , February 14
Northampton vs London Irish15:00
Saturday , February 21
London Irish vs Leicester15:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
LV= Cup
Saturday , January 31
Scarlets vs London Irish15:00
Saturday , February 7
London Irish vs Newcastle15:00
More LV= Cup fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , December 6
Cardiff Blues vs London Irish15:15
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
  • London Irish Results
Recent Results
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Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
LV= Cup
Sunday , November 9
Wasps 43 - 22 London Irish
Saturday , November 1
London Irish 16 - 17 Leicester
More LV= Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Friday , October 24
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Sunday , October 19
London Irish 70 - 14 Rovigo
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , October 11
Exeter 44 - 24 London Irish
More Aviva Premiership results
  • Table
Aviva Premiership Table
10Newcastle Falcons813
11London Irish812
12London Welsh81