Planet Rugby

Preview: Gloucester v London Irish

04th February 2011 09:13

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George Stowers london Irish

In at 8: George Stowers

London Irish coach Toby Booth has made just one change to the side for Saturday's LV= Cup fixture against Gloucester at Kingsholm.

George Stowers comes in at number eight and Ryan Lamb will play at fly-half against his old club after scoring 12 points with the boot last week. Adam Thompstone will start his third consecutive game on his comeback from injury and Seilala Mapusua once again captains the side.

"There is still an opportunity to progress in the LV= Cup and so our foot remains firmly on the pedal. Kingsholm is never an easy place to go, but we're going there focused, with confidence and we'll do everything in our power to come away with the right result," said Exiles boss Booth.

Meanwhile, Gloucester Head Coach Bryan Redpath is able to call upon the returning Olly Morgan and Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu.

The 30-16 win over Leeds Carnegie at Headingley last Sunday has seen Gloucester move into first place in pool 3 of the competition and a win of any kind will see them clinch a semi final-berth.

Morgan returns from England Saxons duty for whom he made a replacement appearance against Italy A last weekend while Fuimaono-Sapolu was given a weekend off against Leeds.

Lesley Vainikolo's shoulder injury sees a reshuffle in the back three to accommodate Morgan's return while Welsh international fly half Nicky Robinson takes over from Freddie Burns at fly half.

Up front, Nick Wood, Alex Brown and Andy Hazell all start having been replacements at Headingley and Peter Buxton returns to skipper the side from the blindside flank.

"We know the importance of the game and we've improved a bit over the past three or four weeks, said Redpath.

"However, Irish themselves, having had a tough time for a couple of months, are coming back into it off the back of a couple of good results."

"They'll be coming up here to keep their momentum going and will push us hard. I've a lot of respect for London Irish and Toby Booth."

"But our destiny is in our own hands in terms of what we want to achieve and a semi final spot would be great for us."

The teams:

Gloucester: 15 Olly Morgan, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Tim Molenaar, 12 Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, 11 Tom Voyce, 10 Nicky Robinson, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Alasdair Strokosch 7 Andrew Hazell, 6 Peter Buxton (c), 5 Alex Brown, 4 Jim Hamilton, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Olivier Azam, 1 Nick Wood,
Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Pierre Capdevielle, 19 Will James, 20 Akapusi Qera, 21 Jordi Pasqualin, 22 Freddie Burns, 23 Jonny May

London Irish: 15 Topsy Ojo, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Seilala Mapusua (capt), 12 Dan Bowden, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Darren Allinson, 8 George Stowers, 7 Steffon Armitage, 6 Jamie Gibson, 5 Kieran Roche, 4 Nick Kennedy, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Brian Blaney, 1 Dan Murphy
Replacements: 16 Rob Herring, 17 Will Johnson, 18 Max Lahiff, 19 Chris Hala'ufia, 20 Richard Thorpe, 21 Elvis Seveali'i, 22 Chris Malone, 23 Alfredo Lalanne.

Date: Saturday, February 5
Kick-off: 15:00
Venue: Kingsholm
Referee: Gwyn Morris (Wales)
Assistant referees: Martin Buck (England), Rhys Davies (England)
Coach: Ashley Reay (England)
Timekeeper: Matt Peters (England)

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Group A
LV= Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens416
2Gloucester410
3London Irish46
4Dragons44
Group B
LV= Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter414
2Sale Sharks412
3Cardiff Blues410
4Leicester Tigers49
Group C
LV= Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath419
2Ospreys46
3Harlequins45
4Worcester45
Group D
LV= Cup Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton418
2Newcastle Falcons49
3Scarlets48
4London Wasps45