Planet Rugby

Preview: Gloucester v Leicester

26th October 2012 10:39

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Freddie Burns kicking for Gloucester

Back for Gloucester: Freddie Burns

Gloucester Director of Rugby Nigel Davies has made five changes to his starting XV for Saturday's visit of Leicester Tigers to Kingsholm.

Freddie Burns is back at fly-half after having missed the club's two recent European outings as one of two changes in the backline while Rob Cook replaces Martyn Thomas at full-back.

Up front, Nick Wood and Rupert Harden return at loosehead and tighthead respectively while Tom Savage replaces the injured Jim Hamilton in the second-row.

The visit of the Tigers will be a stern examination of Gloucester's credentials despite Davies' side being unbeaten in seven games, and recent meetings between the two teams at Kingsholm have been close fought encounters.

It's a fact not lost upon Davies, but he insists that it won't be anything new for his team.

"We've had a few of those this season so we're used to them! Leicester are very good at staying strong until the end of matches and grinding out results," said the Gloucester boss.

"I'm sure it'll be a tight, tough encounter. We've also gained a lot of experience in the past five or six matches of getting results towards the end of the game, so it should be an exciting fixture which goes right to the death."

Meanwhile, Geordan Murphy and Louis Deacon return to the Leicester Tigers starting line-up.

Club captain Murphy has recovered from a knee injury suffered in the draw with Saracens in Round 3, while Deacon returned from injury to play as a replacement in last weekend's win over the Ospreys and is now given a starting place. The duo have almost 550 first-team appearances for Tigers between them.

"Geordan and Deacs are two of our most experienced players and two of the leaders in the camp so it is good to have them back in the squad," said Leicester Director of Rugby Richard Cockerill.

"We've had a decent start but it is important that we keep our form going, especially with the autumn international period coming up."

Tigers are without Miles Benjamin, Tom Croft, Rob Hawkins, Wessel Jooste, Julian Salvi and Richard Thorpe this week due to injury.

Form: Gloucester are unbeaten in their last seven matches in all competitions, a sequence which includes five successive victories. The Cherry & Whites have won their last three games at Kingsholm against Wasps, Bath and Bordeaux-Begles. Leicester Tigers' solitary defeat in Aviva Premiership Rugby so far this campaign was 9-22 to defending champions Harlequins at Welford Road in round four. The Tigers have lost just one Premiership game on the road in the past twelve months: 11-19 at Exeter on 11 February. The Tigers are undefeated in their last four clashes with Gloucester in all competitions, but have won just once at Kingsholm since 2008: 19-14 in this equivalent fixture last season.

Rugby Union betting odds

The teams:

Gloucester: 15 Rob Cook, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Mike Tindall (c), 12 Billy Twelvetrees, 11 James Simpson-Daniel, 10 Freddie Burns, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Ben Morgan 7 Akapusi Qera, 6 Sione Kalamafoni, 5 Will James, 4 Tom Savage, 3 Rupert Harden, 2 Huia Edmonds, 1 Nick Wood.
Replacements: 16 Koree Britton, 17 Dan Murphy, 18 Shaun Knight, 19 Peter Buxton, 20 Matt Cox, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Martyn Thomas, 23 Shane Monahan.

Leicester: 15 Geordan Murphy (c), 14 Scott Hamilton, 13 Manusamoa Tuilagi, 12 Anthony Allen, 11 Vereniki Goneva, 10 Toby Flood, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Jordan Crane, 7 Thomas Waldrom, 6 Steve Mafi, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Louis Deacon, 3 Dan Cole, 2 Tom Youngs, 1 Logovi'i Mulipola.
Replacements: 16 George Chuter, 17 Marcos Ayerza, 18 Martin Castrogiovanni, 19 Ed Slater, 20 Graham Kitchener, 21 Sam Harrison, 22 George Ford, 23 Matt Smith.

Date: Saturday, October 27
Kick-off: 16:45 BST
Venue: Kingsholm
Referee: JP Doyle
Assistant referees: Andrew Pearce, Kevin Stewart
Television match official: David Grashoff
Timekeeper: Anthony Turner
Assessor: Gary Welsh

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
Sunday , November 30
London Irish vs Gloucester13:00
London Welsh vs Northampton14:30
Newcastle Falcons vs Sale Sharks15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
Sunday , November 30
Glasgow Warriors vs Dragons16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne14:45
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:30
Lyon vs Montpellier18:30
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:30
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:30
Toulouse vs Grenoble20:45
Sunday , November 30
Stade Francais vs Brive18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens 24 - 31 NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Report
London Welsh 5 - 26 Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Georgia 35 - 24 JapanGeorgia vs Japan Report
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Guinness PRO12
Treviso 24 - 24 LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Report
Edinburgh 28 - 13 Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Report
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Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
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International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
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International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
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Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton830
2Exeter828
3Bath828
4Saracens825
5Leicester Tigers821