Planet Rugby

Preview: London Irish v Gloucester

27th December 2013 10:00

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Ofisa Treviranus London Irish AVP 2013

Treviranus: At seven for the Exiles

Flanker Ofisa Treviranus will start for London Irish in Sunday's Premiership clash against Gloucester at Madejski Stadium.

The Samoa international will play alongside Blair Cowan and Kieran Low in the back row. George Skivington and Ian Gough will partner in the second row with Matt Parr, Jimmy Stevens and CJ Van Der Linde in the front row.

Tomás O'Leary and Ian Humphreys will form the half back combination and Eamonn Sheridan and Fergus Mulchrone will continue to play together in the centre. Alex Lewington returns to the back three to play alongside Topsy Ojo and James O'Connor.

London Irish Director of Rugby, Brian Smith said: "We've had a very good preparation for the match and we're looking forward to our supporters coming out in numbers to see us at home on Sunday.

"The players are ready to go and we expect a fierce battle with Gloucester in every department."

Meanwhile, Gloucester's director of rugby Nigel Davies has opted not to change his starting line-up following last weekend's hard fought victory over Worcester Warriors.

The 12-6 win over the Warriors at Kingsholm moved the Cherry and Whites up to ninth place in the table, and Gloucester will now be looking to finish 2013 on a winning note.

The only changes to Gloucester's matchday squad from last weekend see Will James and Gareth Evans come in for Tom Hicks and Akapusi Qera respectively amongst the replacements.

Form: London Irish have slipped to five straight Aviva Premiership Rugby defeats since beating Harlequins 18-13 at Madejski Stadium in round 5, the Exiles have not been victorious at Reading in the Premiership since that encounter. Gloucester Rugby ended a five game losing run in the Premiership with their 12-6 win over Worcester at Kingsholm on Sunday. Gloucester's solo away victory in the tournament since early February was 22-16 at Newcastle on 29th September. Both Premiership fixtures between the clubs last season were won by the away side on the day, whilst Gloucester have won on their last two visits to Madejski Stadium in all competitions.

The teams:

London Irish: 15 James O'Connor, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Fergus Mulchrone, 12 Eamonn Sheridan, 11 Alex Lewington, 10 Ian Humphreys, 9 Tomás O'Leary, 8 Blair Cowan, 7 Ofisa Treviranus, 6 Kieran Low, 5 Ian Gough, 4 George Skivington (c), 3 CJ Van Der Linde, 2 Jimmy Stevens, 1 Matt Parr.
Replacements: 16 Mike Mayhew; 17 John Yapp, 18 Leo Halavatau, 19 Nic Rouse, 20 Jebb Sinclair, 21 Andrew Fenby, 22 Shane Geraghty, 23 Ed Hoadley

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Mike Tindall, 11 Jonny May, 10 Billy Twelvetrees (c), 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Ben Morgan, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Matt Cox, 5 James Hudson, 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 Sila Puafisi, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Huia Edmonds, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Will James, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Martyn Thomas

Date: Sunday, December 29
Kick-off: 14:00 GMT
Venue: Madejski Stadium
Referee: Andrew Small
Assistant referees: Nigel Carrick, Paul Burton
Timekeeper: John Burtenshaw
Television match official: Graham Hughes
Assessor: Chris White, Clive Leeke

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