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Preview: Gloucester v Worcester

09th September 2011 11:45

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Marcel Garvey action

Marcel Garvey: 100th game for Warriors

Two Gloucester players will make their Aviva Premiership debuts on Saturday in the clash with Worcester Warriors.

Head Coach Bryan Redpath has selected Nick Runciman and Tom Savage in his starting line-up for the first time.

Runciman comes in for the injured scrum-half Dave Lewis and will make his full Gloucester debut against one of his former clubs.

Meanwhile, Tom Savage also makes his full debut in the place of loose forward Alex Brown, who also picked up a knock against the Northampton Saints last Sunday.

Those two apart, it's the same starting up that came so close to earning an opening day victory at Franklin's Gardens.

The Warriors, freshly promoted from the Championship, did kick off their 2011-12 campaign with a 17-12 home win over Sale Sharks and will enter the game brimming with confidence.

They also possess a more than decent record against Gloucester in recent seasons, including a 13 all draw on their last visit in January 2010.

Accordingly, despite many pundits tipping the Warriors for a relegation battle, Redpath is having none of it.

"Most of the people saying those things are paid to have an opinion. Players, coaches etc have too much respect for each other to talk about who will be top or bottom. They know how difficult it is," said Redpath.

"The last time Worcester played at Kingsholm, they played very well as they did the previous time. It'd be na´ve to think that this would be an easy game. They've got virtually a full squad while we've got players away and injured but that's just life.

"We're back at Kingsholm and the Gloucester crowd have been brilliant for us over the past few season. It's important now that we do ourselves justice, tidy up our execution, precision and discipline and hopefully go one better than last week."

Meanwhile, talented fly-half Joe Carlisle will make his first appearance of the season for Worcester as he links up with Shaun Perry at half back as Head Coach Richard Hill makes two changes from the team that won on the opening day.

Hooker Chris Fortey will pack down against his former club and is joined by Matt Mullan and Tevita Taumoepeau in the front row after the prop powerhouses impressed against Sale.

Another ex-Gloucester player Marcel Garvey also returns to his former side and will make his 100th start for Warriors after being named on the wing.

Utility back Tom Arscott, fresh from an outstanding display against Exeter United earlier in the week for Worcester Cavaliers, wins a place on the replacements bench as he takes the spot of hamstring injury victim Chris Pennell.

Form: Gloucester have lost their last two Aviva Premiership matches by just two points each time. Gloucester are unbeaten in their last 19 Premiership encounters at Kingsholm - their second best home run since their sequence of 24 games without defeat at the venue between 2001-03. Worcester Warriors defeated Sale at Sixways on Saturday and have never begun a Premiership campaign with back to back victories. The Warriors have not won on the road in the Premiership since they defeated Gloucester at Kingsholm in April 2009. Gloucester's 23-22 victory at Sixways in May 2010 ended a run of four successive winless matches against the Warriors in the Premiership.

The teams:

Gloucester: 15 Olly Morgan, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Jonny May, 12 Lesley Vainikolo, 11 James Simpson-Daniel, 10 Tim Taylor, 9 Nick Runciman, 8 Matt Cox, 7 Andy Hazell, 6 Peter Buxton (capt), 5 Tom Savage, 4 Will James, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements:16 Nathan Charles, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Rupert Harden, 19 David Lyons, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Tom Voyce.

Worcester Warriors: 15 Errie Claassens, 14 Marcel Garvey, 13 Alex Grove, 12 Dale Rasmussen, 11 Miles Benjamin, 10 Joe Carlisle, 9 Shaun Perry, 8 Kai Horstmann (c), 7 Jake Abbott, 6 Neil Best, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 James Percival, 3 Tevita Taumoepeau, 2 Chris Fortey, 1 Matt Mullan.
Replacements: 16 Ed Shervington, 17 George Porter, 18 Bruce Douglas, 19 Chris Jones, 20 Matt Kvesic, 21 Jonny Arr, 22 Andy Goode, 23 Tom Arscott.

Date: Saturday, September 10
Venue: Kingsholm
Kick-off: 15.00 BST (14.00GMT)
Referee: Luke Pearce

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