Planet Rugby

Preview: Gloucester v Newcastle

15th November 2013 10:46

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NICK WOOD GLOUCESTER

Returning: Nick Wood

Newcastle Falcons have made eight changes for Saturday's LV=Cup clash with Gloucester at Kingsholm as they target back to back wins.

The Falcons began their Anglo-Welsh campaign with a 29-21 victory at home to London Irish last weekend, their second victory over the Exiles in as many weeks.

Alex Tait replaces Tom Catterick at full-back while there are starts in the backline for centre Adam Powell and winger Ryan Shortland.

In the front-row props Rob Vickers and Scott Wilson get the nod with the latter starting for the first time since his outing at Brive in the Amlin Challenge Cup.

Italian international Carlo del Fava and burgeoning talent Dom Barrow are named in the second-row while Ally Hogg rounds off the changes, coming in for Chris York at number eight.

"It's going to be a similar challenge to what we faced last week against Irish, and we know it's going to be a tough contest for us down at Kingsholm," said head coach Peter Russell.

"At the end of the day we've got to make sure that we put pressure on them upfront, and we are well aware of the talent they have at their disposal.

"A certain James Hudson will also want to make an impression against his former club, so we will have to be on our mettle, and go down there and perform to the best of our ability," added Russell.

In other news Falcons fly-half Joel Hodgson will be playing for Rotherham Titans against Bristol Rugby this weekend, as he is dual registered with the South Yorkshire club.

Meanwhile, prop Nick Wood will make his first start since September 15th, as Gloucester, lining up in his usual loose-head spot, having served an eight week suspension for stamping.

His return is one of seven changes to the starting line up from the side that took the field against Japan on Tuesday evening.

Martyn Thomas comes in for Rob Cook at full-back and there is a new half-back pairing in Dan Robson and Freddie Burns.

In the pack, Wood, Huia Edmonds and Shaun Knight comprise a new look front row and Ross Moriarty starts on the blindside flank.

Newcastle kicked off their LV= Cup campaign with 29-21 victory over London Irish at Kingston Park last weekend, and Gloucester Forwards Coach Andrew Stanley predicts that the Falcons will travel south in good spirits.

"They put a pretty strong side out last week in their game. They were successful, so they may well come with a similar sort of side," said Stanley.

"We're not expecting Newcastle to bring anything less than a very competitive side, and just trying to get our own preparations right.

"We're looking to build on the momentum that we created on Tuesday. The boys have been very good this week, a few of them are doubling up, but they've been enthusiastic and energetic and the intensity of the session has been good."

Form:

Gloucester Rugby have lost their last four matches in all tournaments, and have also been defeated in their last three LV=Cup ties since beating London Welsh 46-20 at Kingsholm at this stage last season. The cherry and whites were defeated by Bath in their most recent LV=Cup home game to end a seven game winning run at Kingsholm in the competition.

Newcastle Falcons began their LV=Cup campaign with a 29-21 victory over London Irish at Kingston Park on Sunday. The Falcons have not been victorious in successive games in the tournament since season 2010/11, and have only won a solitary away game in the history of the tournament: 21-20 over Harlequins at the Twickenham Stoop in the 2011 semi-final.

This is a repeat of the 2011 LV=Cup final played at Franklin's Gardens which Gloucester won 34-7. The two clubs have met on two other occasions in the Anglo-Welsh cup, sharing an 18-all draw at Kingsholm in October 2007, and Gloucester winning 11-10 at Kingston Park a year later. The Falcons achieved a first victory at Kingsholm since 1998 on their most recent visit: 29-20 in the

Premiership in April 2012.

The teams:

Gloucester: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 James Simpson-Daniel, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Ryan Mills, 11 Jonny May, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Dan Robson, 8 Matt Cox, 7 Andy Hazell, 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 Tom Savage (c), 4 Elliott Stooke, 3 Shaun Knight, 2 Huia Edmonds, 1 Nick Wood
Replacements: 16 Dan George, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Rupert Harden, 19 Will James, 20 Lewis Ludlow, 21 Jimmy Cowan, 22 Billy Burns, 23 Rob Cook

Newcastle: 15 Alex Tait, 14 Noah Cato, 13 Danny Barnes, 12 Adam Powell, 11 Ryan Shortland, 10 Rory Clegg, 9 Warren Fury, 8 Ally Hogg, 7 Will Welch (c), 6 Richard Mayhew, 5 Dom Barrow, 4 Carlo del Fava, 3 Scott Wilson, 2 George McGuigan, 1 Rob Vickers
Replacements: 16 Kieran Brookes, 17 Gary Strain, 18 Grant Shiells, 19 Scott MacLeod, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Mike Blair, 22 Zach Kibirige, 23 Phil Godman

Date: Saturday, November 16
Kick-off: 16:30 GMT
Venue: Kingsholm
Referee: Neil Hennessy (Wales)
Assistant referees: Roger Baileff (England), Andrew Pearce (England)
Timekeeper: Tony Turner (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