Planet Rugby

Preview: Gloucester v London Welsh

22nd March 2013 11:05

Share:

Billy Twelvetrees Michael Hills

Back home: Billy Twelvetrees

Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies makes several changes to play London Welsh, with Jim Hamilton returning to captain the side.

Hamilton is back after representing Scotland in the Six Nations. Similarly, Billy Twelvetrees returns from England duty.

The return of Twelvetrees is the only change to the back line that started against Bath three weeks ago.

However, the pack will have a new look. In addition to Hamilton returning in the second row, Huia Edmonds and Shaun Knight come in at hooker and tight head prop respectively.

And the back row will have an experienced feel to it, as Andy Hazell and Peter Buxton start on the flanks. With just five rounds left in the Aviva Premiership, every game is significant now and Davies is pleased that his side are in the play off picture.

"It's very open, and there's everything to play for. We're fifth at the moment so we're in a position where, if we play well in the next five games, we can finish in the top four," said Davies.

"We're pleased that we've got that opportunity and we're going to give it our best shot. We've used the last two weeks wisely to prepare, and have really taken things up a level in training this week."

Meanwhile, London Welsh may come to Kingsholm at the foot of the table, having suffered a points deduction, but Gloucester are reading nothing into the standings.

"It'll be a big test on Saturday. London Welsh have been extremely competitive all year, they've caught some sides out.

"They bring a real physicality, the contact area will be a real battle and, if you don't get it right, you can come off second best.

"They'll be a bit frustrated with all that's happened recently, and it'll be backs to the wall as far as they're concerned. They'll come out with everything to prove. It's a tough time to play them, a real challenge."

Meanwhile, London Welsh head coach Lyn Jones makes five changes for Saturday's trip to Kingsholm to face Gloucester in Round 18 of the Aviva Premiership.

In the backs, Seb Jewell moves from inside centre to full back where he replaces Tom Arscott, who drops out of the match-day 23 through injury.

Gonzalo Tiesi returns to the side having missed the game against Saracens through injury and takes over the number 13 jersey from Sonny Parker, who starts at inside centre.

In the forwards, there's one change in the front row with Dan George starting at hooker in place of Greg Bateman, who moves to the bench.

Elsewhere, Daniel Browne is named at number against his former club in place of Alfie To'oala. On the bench, Arthur Joly makes his first appearance for the club since Worcester on December 21 after spell out with injury.

"There was lots of good from our game against Saracens and we need to understand what is good and how we're improving, but at the same time some of the points we gave away were just so soft," said London Welsh head coach Lyn Jones.

"Our focus has been to stop playing buffet rugby and allowing teams to come and help themselves - we need to tighten up our first phase defence. Also when we have possession we need to hold onto it, so that we're not defending all the time.

"Gloucester had a great four months of the season. Results since Christmas have perhaps been indifferent but I'm sure they'll be highly motivated to get the show on the road against a side at the bottom end of the table.

"I'm sure they'll be confident that they can do well against us, but the challenge for us is to show them what we're made of."

Form: Gloucester are still chasing a top four finish, while the Exiles are rooted to the foot of the table following a five-point deduction for fielding ineligible player Tyson Keats earlier in the season. Form-wise Gloucester need a win having lost two of their last four Aviva Premiership matches, with London Welsh looking to arrest a run of seven defeats in all competitions and targeting a first Aviva Premiership win since December 1.

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 Jonny May, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Andy Hazell, 6 Peter Buxton, 5 Will James, 4 Jim Hamilton (c), 3 Shaun Knight, 2 Huia Edmonds, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Koree Britton, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Tom Savage, 20 Akapusi Qera, 21 Dave Lewis, 22 Henry Trinder, 23 Martyn Thomas.

London Welsh: 15 Seb Jewell, 14 Phil MacKenzie, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Sonny Parker, 11 Seb Stegmann, 10 Gavin Henson, 9 Tyson Keats, 8 Daniel Browne, 7 Michael Hills, 6 Julio Cabello Farias, 5 Kirill Kulemin, 4 Jonathan Mills (c), 3 James Tideswell, 2 Dan George, 1 Tom Bristow.
Replacements: 16 Greg Bateman, 17 Billy Moss, 18 Arthur Joly, 19 Matt Corker, 20 Adam Balding, 21 Alex Davies, 22 Gordon Ross, 23 Nick Scott.

Date: Saturday, 23 March
Venue: Kingsholm
Kick-off: 15:00 GMT
Referee: Martin Fox
Assistant referees: Andrew Watson, Paul Dix

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Scarlets vs LeicesterScarlets vs Leicester Preview
Sunday , October 26
Clermont Auvergne vs Sale SharksClermont Auvergne vs Sale Sharks Preview
Castres vs LeinsterCastres vs Leinster Preview
Wasps vs HarlequinsWasps vs Harlequins Preview
Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92Benetton Treviso vs Racing Metro 92 Preview
More European Rugby Champions Cup fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , October 31
Leinster vs Edinburgh19:35
Glasgow vs Benetton Treviso19:35
Ospreys vs Connacht19:35
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Saturday , October 25
Oyonnax vs Gloucester19:45
More European Rugby Challenge Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
European Rugby Champions Cup
Saturday , October 25
Ulster 13 - 23 ToulonUlster vs Toulon Report
Bath 19 - 21 ToulouseBath vs Toulouse Report
Montpellier 13 - 15 GlasgowMontpellier vs Glasgow Report
Northampton 34 - 6 OspreysNorthampton vs Ospreys Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Rovigo 18 - 33 Cardiff Blues
Bucuresti 9 - 13 Stade Francais
Exeter 33 - 13 Connacht
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
Currie Cup
Western Province 19 - 16 LionsWestern Province vs Lions Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Taranaki 36 - 32 TasmanTaranaki vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Friday , October 24
Munster 14 - 3 SaracensMunster vs Saracens Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
Grenoble 15 - 25 London Irish
Edinburgh 25 - 17 LOU Rugby
Newport Gwent D'gons 26 - 30 Newcastle
Brive 21 - 26 Zebre
La Rochelle 25 - 13 Bayonne
Thursday , October 23
London Welsh 20 - 52 Bordeaux-BeglesLondon Welsh vs Bordeaux-Begles Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sunday , October 19
Ospreys 42 - 7 Benetton TrevisoOspreys vs Benetton Treviso Report
Toulouse 30 - 23 MontpellierToulouse vs Montpellier Report
Toulon 28 - 18 ScarletsToulon vs Scarlets Report
Leinster 25 - 20 WaspsLeinster vs Wasps Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
European Rugby Challenge Cup
London Irish 70 - 14 RovigoLondon Irish vs Rovigo Report
More European Rugby Challenge Cup results
International Match
Saturday , October 18
Australia 28 - 29 New ZealandAustralia vs New Zealand Report
More International Match results
European Rugby Champions Cup
Sale Sharks 26 - 27 MunsterSale Sharks vs Munster Report
Saracens 30 - 23 Clermont AuvergneSaracens vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Racing Metro 92 20 - 11 NorthamptonRacing Metro 92 vs Northampton Report
More European Rugby Champions Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton625
2Saracens622
3Exeter620
4Bath620
5Wasps615