Planet Rugby

Preview: London Irish v Gloucester

19th October 2007 12:35

Share:

chris paterson

Chris Paterson: Scotland skipper set to make his Gloucester debut

Chris Paterson, the deadliest kicker at the 2007 World Cup, will make his Gloucester debut against London Irish in the Guinness Premiership clash at the Madejski Stadium on Sunday.

The Scotland international, who returned home from France with a 100 per cent kicking record, will wear the number fourteen shirt as Gloucester hunt their sixth successive victory this season.

With Gloucester's growing squad strength, head coach Dean Ryan has again shifted around his line-up and has made six changes to the team that beat Sale Sharks 31-12 last Saturday.

There are three changes to the forward pack - Patrice Collazo comes in at loose-head prop in place of Nick Wood, Marco Bortolami, the Italian national captain, comes in at number four for Will James and Fijian international Akapusi Qera replaces Alasdair Strokosch on the openside flank.

"Although our squad strength is now returning, we have operated with a core group of about 23 or 24 players for the first five games and that has been very hard on them," said Ryan.

"I have said from week one that we will select a team appropriate for each and every individual game and that is what we have done. I think it is tremendously exciting to see some of the combinations in action."

Alongside Collazo, Andy Titterrell retains the number two shirt and will pack down alongside Carlos Nieto at tight-head.

There are also three changes in the backline that sees Paterson coming in on the wing for Leon Lloyd, who moves to the bench.

Iain Balshaw returns at full-back because Olly Morgan is ruled out with a hamstring strain and Mike Prendergast comes in at scrum-half for Rory Lawson.

Ryan Lamb will partner Prendergast at fly-half, while James Bailey, Mike Tindall and Anthony Allen complete the line-up.

Lesley Vainikolo (neck), James Simpson-Daniel (hamstring) Andy Hazell (ribs), and Gareth Cooper (hamstring) are all recovering from injury.

"I am delighted to be able to select a guy of Chris Paterson's quality," said Ryan.

"We know what he brings to the group in terms of his knowledge and understanding of the game and has a mountain of experience as an international-quality player.

"He is fantastically reliable and able to play in a number of positions.

"We have taken our time to integrate some of our returning World Cup players but we were keen to get Chris and Akapusi some game-time and view this is a good opportunity for them against opponents who have been tough to beat for us in recent years."

Meanwhile, Peter Hewat, London Irish's new signing from the Waratahs and who only arrived in England on Tuesday, comes straight into the starting line-up for the Exiles.

Hewat led his Central Coast Rays team to victory last Saturday in the inaugural Australian Rugby Championship, scoring 15 out of the team's 20 points.

He will start at full-back in a London Irish team that shows five changes - three personnel and two positional - to the starting line-up that took the field against London Wasps last weekend.

In the backs Delon Armitage moves to outside centre where he takes over from the injured Dominic Shabbo. Shane Geraghty returns at fly-half having recovered fully from the leg injury that has kept him out of action for the past three weeks.

The changes in the pack are in the back row where Kieran Roche comes in at blindside flanker with Declan Danaher switching to openside and Steffon Armitage dropping to the bench.

Phil Murphy starts at number eight in place of Richard Thorpe who is named among the replacements.

Form: London Irish have lost three successive matches in the Guinness Premiership, but at Madejski Stadium in the competition the Exiles have been beaten just twice since last November. Gloucester Rugby have made the perfect start to their season with five successive victories. Three of those wins have been on the road and Gloucester's best ever away run in the Premiership is four consecutive victories from April-September 2002. Both encounters between the two in the Guinness Premiership last season went the way of Gloucester. Gloucester have won on three of their last five visits to Madejski Stadium.

London Irish: 15 Peter Hewat, 14 Topsy Ojo, 13 Delon Armitage, 12 Seilala Mapusua, 11 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10 Shane Geraghty, 9 Paul Hodgson, 8 Phil Murphy, 7 Declan Danaher, 6 Kieran Roche, 5 Bob Casey (c), 4 Nick Kennedy, 3 Tonga Lea'aetoa, 2 David Paice, 1 Dan Murphy

Replacements: 16 Tom Warren, 17 Stuart Mackie, 18 Gary Johnson, 19 Steffon Armitage, 20 Richard Thorpe, 21 Warren Fury, 22 Jeremy Staunton

Gloucester: 15 Iain Balshaw; 14 Chris Paterson, 13 Mike Tindall, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 James Bailey, 10 Ryan Lamb, 9 Mike Prendergast, 8 Luke Narraway, 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Peter Buxton (c), 5 Alex Brown, 4 Marco Bortolami, 3 Carlos Nieto, 2 Andy Titterrell, 1 Patrice Collazo

Replacements: 16 Olivier Azam, 17 Christian Califano, 18 Will James, 19 Alasdair Strokosch, 20 Rory Lawson, 21 Willie Walker, 22 Leon Lloyd

Date: Sunday, 21 October

Venue: Madejski Stadium

Kick-off: 16:00 (15:00 GMT)

Referee: Sean Davey

Touch judges: Robin Goodliffe, Paul Dix

Television match official: John Burtenshaw, Geoff Warren

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester vs ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Preview
Saturday , September 20
Sale vs London Welsh14:00
London Irish vs Saracens15:00
Harlequins vs Wasps15:00
Bath vs Leicester15:15
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle vs Northampton14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 19
Munster vs ZebreMunster vs Zebre Preview
Cardiff Blues vs UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Preview
Connacht vs LeinsterConnacht vs Leinster Preview
Saturday , September 20
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow14:40
Scarlets vs Benetton Treviso18:00
Sunday , September 21
Ospreys vs EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Preview
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Friday , September 19
Brive vs ToulonBrive vs Toulon Preview
Saturday , September 20
Racing Metro Paris vs Toulouse14:45
La Rochelle vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Grenoble vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Oyonnax18:30
Clermont Auvergne vs LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Preview
Montpellier vs Stade Francais20:45
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 19
Lions vs PumasLions vs Pumas Preview
Saturday , September 20
Western Province vs Griquas15:00
Blue Bulls vs SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Preview
Eastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs19:10
More Currie Cup fixtures
ITM Cup
Saturday , September 20
Hawkes Bay vs Bay Of Plenty14:35
Auckland vs North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Preview
More ITM Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
ITM Cup
Friday , September 19
Counties Manukau 20 - 28 CanterburyCounties Manukau vs Canterbury Report
Thursday , September 18
Northland 20 - 31 TaranakiNorthland vs Taranaki Report
Wednesday, September 17
Southland 14 - 38 TasmanSouthland vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 14
Wasps 20 - 16 NorthamptonWasps vs Northampton Report
Newcastle 18 - 20 London IrishNewcastle vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Cardiff Blues 12 - 33 GlasgowCardiff Blues vs Glasgow Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Bordeaux-Begles 27 - 21 MontpellierBordeaux-Begles vs Montpellier Report
More Top 14 results
ITM Cup
Waikato 26 - 21 Counties ManukauWaikato vs Counties Manukau Report
Hawkes Bay 41 - 0 Otago
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 13
Gloucester 34 - 27 Sale SharksGloucester vs Sale Sharks Report
Bath 53 - 26 London WelshBath vs London Welsh Report
Exeter 20 - 24 LeicesterExeter vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Rugby Championship
New Zealand 14 - 10 South AfricaNew Zealand vs South Africa Report
Australia 32 - 25 ArgentinaAustralia vs Argentina Report
More Rugby Championship results
Guinness PRO12
Leinster 42 - 12 ScarletsLeinster vs Scarlets Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Toulouse 9 - 13 Clermont AuvergneToulouse vs Clermont Auvergne Report
Bayonne 23 - 6 Brive
Oyonnax 40 - 27 Grenoble
Toulon 24 - 28 Stade FrancaisToulon vs Stade Francais Report
Racing Metro Paris 28 - 11 LyonRacing Metro Paris vs Lyon Report
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Griquas 31 - 27 PumasGriquas vs Pumas Report
Lions 35 - 33 Western ProvinceLions vs Western Province Report
Cheetahs 30 - 30 SharksCheetahs vs Sharks Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Bay Of Plenty 12 - 27 AucklandBay Of Plenty vs Auckland Report
Southland 36 - 34 Northland
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Saracens29
2Bath29
3Leicester Tigers29
4Exeter26
5Northampton26