Gloucester v Worcester Warriors Preview

Worcester have won their last three clashes against Gloucester


Gloucester Rugby’s last seven matches have all been won by the home side on the day.

 

Gloucester have won their last three encounters at Kingsholm since Cardiff Blues won there, 26-25, in the LV= Cup on 8 November.

Worcester Warriors are winless in their last seven games in all competitions, whilst their most recent victory in the Guinness Premiership was 24-18 at home to Sale on 26 September.


The Warriors are the only side in the Premiership yet to record an away win this season.


Gloucester Rugby Head Coach Bryan Redpath has responded to last Sunday’s Guinness Premiership defeat at local rivals Bath Rugby by making five changes to his starting line up for the visit of the Worcester Warriors to Kingsholm on Saturday.


Three of the changes are in the backs where Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu and Lesley Vainikolo return whilst Dave Lewis comes in at scrum half for Rory Lawson who had to leave the action early at the Rec after a blow to the head.


Up front, Adam Eustace is selected to partner Alex Brown in the second row whilst Akapusi Qera features for the first time since the home victory over Newcastle on December 5th.


Amongst the replacements, there is one new face and one not so new face!


Welsh international scrum half Andy Williams, currently on loan from Moseley with Jordi Pasqualin having temporarily moved in the opposite direction to Billesley Common, is named in the Gloucester matchday squad for the first time.


Meanwhile, hooker Olivier Azam is back for potentially his first appearance since his try scoring contribution at Headingley against Leeds on October 4th.


Ahead of his team announcement, Redpath was pulling no punches when it came to assessing the importance of Saturday’s fixture:


“Worcester have beaten us I think on the last three occasions, twice away and once at home.”


“Everyone must understand the importance of this game. A win would take us up two places and a defeat would move us down one place. We’re only seven points off the bottom and four points off sixth.”


“So, these next two games are massive. Our supporters will come on Saturday and sing their hearts out and they’ll want people to perform. But we have to be clinical.”


“I think over 90 points of their 140 odd have come from the boot of Willie Walker so what is going to be important is discipline. If our discipline is poor then it won’t be a game because Willie will kick the points.”


Worcester Warriors meawhile have handed hooker Chris Fortey a start against his former club Gloucester as Worcester Warriors make the short trip to Kingsholm in the Guinness Premiership on Saturday.


Fortey is one of two changes to the line-up that faced Northampton Saints on Boxing Day as Director of Rugby Mike Ruddock looks for his Warriors to make a winning start to 2010.


Dale Rasmussen is also promoted to the team and paired with Sam Tuitupou in the centre as Scotland international Alex Grove moves to the replacements bench.


Fly half Willie Walker will face Gloucester for the first time since leaving Kingsholm on a permanent basis to move to Sixways in the summer and prop Tevita Taumoepeau makes his 100th start for Warriors in the front row.


Match Detail
Date :
Sat 2nd Jan 10 15:00
Venue : Kingsholm
Referee: Dean Richards (29th Premiership game)


Teams


Gloucester Rugby:


Olly Morgan; Charlie Sharples, James Simpson-Daniel, Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu, Lesley Vainikolo; Nicky Robinson, Dave Lewis; Nick Wood, Scott Lawson, Greg Somerville; Adam Eustace, Alex Brown; Alasdair Strokosch, Akapusi Qera, Gareth Delve (capt)


Replacements:Olivier Azam, Alasdair Dickinson, Pierre Capdevielle, Dave Attwood, Luke Narrawa

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