Planet Rugby

Preview: London Irish v Gloucester

03rd February 2012 09:10

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Mike Tindall Jordan Turner Hall Gloucester Harlequins hec 2011

Fly-half: Mike Tindall

Mike Tindall will start at fly-half for Gloucester in their LV= Cup trip to face London Irish at the Madejski Stadium on Saturday.

Deprived of the services of a dozen players this week due to international call-ups, it's a reshuffled Gloucester side who take to the field this week.

The absence of players with England, England Saxons, England U20s and Scotland, in addition to a number of injuries, mean that Bryan Redpath has had a tough job naming a side this week.

Tindall gets a rare run out at fly-half and there is a full debut for Academy winger Ian Clark.

The pack is the one that started against the Cardiff Blues with the exception of Matt Cox coming in for the injured Brett Deacon at eight.

The replacements include a welcome return for second row Tom Savage for the first time since mid November and a call up for Billy Burns, younger brother of Freddie, another member of the Academy.

Looking ahead to the game when he addressed the media this week, Redpath admitted that this week presents an unusual challenge.

"It's going to be pretty tricky at the weekend but it's just something that we've got to get on with," he said.

"With the U20s, Saxons, England and Scotland, it's just a tough time. And we've picked up a few injuries along the way as well.

"You know it's going to happen so we'll go into the game and do our best with what we've got and not look for any excuses."

Gloucester are still in the hunt for an LV= Cup semi final place but need the Scarlets to slip up at Sale to have a chance of progressing.

Meanwhile, London Irish have made five changes to their side for the round four clash.

Adam Thompstone and Sailosi Tagicakibau come onto the wings with Shontayne Hape and Jonathan Spratt forming the centre partnership. Matt Garvey will start at blindside flanker after returning to the club from England Saxons duty.

"This time of year is always difficult with players away on international duty. That has been exacerbated by the injury list we currently have. However, last weekend we showed a lot of attacking intent which we aim to replicate tomorrow whilst being more clinical in the final third," said London Irish head coach Toby Booth.

The teams:

London Irish: 15 Tom Homer, 14 Adam Thompstone, 13 Jonathan Spratt, 12 Shontayne Hape, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Dan Bowden, 9 Darren Allinson, 8 Richard Thorpe, 7 David Sisi, 6 Matt Garvey, 5 Bryn Evans, 4 Nick Kennedy, 3 Paulica Ion, 2 Brian Blaney, 1 Clarke Dermody (capt).
Replacements: 16 David Paice, 17 Max Lahiff, 18 Mark George, 19 Kieran Roche, 20 Alex Gray, 21 Guy Armitage, 22 Adrian Jarvis, 23 Ross Samson.

Gloucester: 15 Tom Voyce, 14 Ian Clark, 13 Tim Molenaar, 12 Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, 11 James Simpson-Daniel, 10 Mike Tindall, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Matt Cox, 7 Andy Hazell, 6 Peter Buxton (capt), 5 Alex Brown, 4 Will James, 3 Shaun Knight, 2 Darren Dawidiuk, 1 Dan Murphy.
Replacements: 16 Matias Cortese, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Dario Chistolini, 19 Tom Savage, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Nick Runciman, 22 Billy Burns, 23 Akapusi Qera.

Date: Saturday, February 4
Kick-off: 15:00
Venue: Kingsholm

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