Harlequins vs Gloucester LV= Cup preview

International call ups have forced Gloucester Rugby Head Coach Bryan Redpath to make wholesale changes to his starting line up for Sunday’s Anglo Welsh LV= Cup fixture against Harlequins at the Stoop.

It’s a side that differs significantly from the one that defeated the Worcester Warriors by 17 points to 5 in the previous round last weekend at Kingsholm.

Gloucester are deprived of the services of players on duty with England U20s, England Saxons, Scotland and Italy this weekend but Luke Narraway who returns from the Saxons squad is back to captain the side.

Recent signings Semi Tadulala and Tim Taylor, who both made first appearances off the bench last weekend, will both make their full debuts for the club on Sunday and prop Rupert Harden also makes his first start.

It is still a side that can boast six full internationals in the starting line up as well as significant experience in both the backs and the forwards.

By the time the game kicks off at the Stoop, Gloucester will know if they can still qualify for the semi final stages as the Scarlets, who currently lead the group, take on the Blues at Parc y Scarlets on Saturday.

Head Coach Bryan Redpath admitted that it’s been a challenging selection and that it’s a big game for both sides.

“There are a lot of players away this weekend and we’re also playing Harlequins again in six days time.”

“It’s still a big game and it’s a big opportunity for these guys to come and play and perform. So, there are some new faces like Tadulala and Taylor coming into the mix and we can find out more about these players as we did with Yann Thomas last week.”

“We know what we’ve got to do. We’ve got win first and foremost and consistency and carrying through our momentum are important to us. So, winning the game is huge.”

“But it’s also a big game for everyone wearing a Harlequins shirt as well. They have players looking to play in the Premiership game the week after or playing for a new contract. These games are massively important for everyone at the club.”

International call ups for the England Elite, the Saxons and also the England U20s, the 23 man Quins team that runs out against Gloucester this week will only have a couple of changes to the one that defeated London Irish at the Madejski Stadium last Sunday.

Sitting in Group C, Harlequins find themselves in probably the tightest pool of the competition and, with Cardiff having their noses just in front and Wasps just on Quins’ tails, Quins will be determined to get a strong win and hope that the other results go their way.

Will Skinner is again unfit to play, so Mike Brown will take up the Captaincy for a second week running.

With Sam Smith and Rory Clegg both starting for England U20 this weekend, Josh Drauniniu will start on the wing and Waisea Luveniyali will cover the fly-half position on the bench. Nineteen year old academy member, Ross Chisholm, starts on the bench.

There are no changes to the Harlequins forwards pack.

Harlequins vs Gloucester
Venue : The Stoop
Date : Sunday 7th February.
Kick off 3pm. .


Harlequins:15 Mike Brown (c), 14 George Lowe, 13 Gonzalo Tiesi, 12 Jordan Turner-Hall, 11 Josh Drauniniu, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Karl Dickson, 8 Tom Guest, 7 Neil McMillan, 6 Chris York, 5 Lewis Stevenson, 4 James Percival, 3 John Andress, 2 Matt Cairns, 1 Ceri Jones.

Replacements:16 Chris Brooker, 17 Aston Croall, 18 James Johnston, 19 Tomas Vallejos, 20 Luke Wallace, 21 Steve So’oialo, 22 Waisea Luveniyali, 23 Ross Chisholm.

Gloucester : Charlie Sharples; Tom Voyce, Tim Molenaar, Lesley Vainikolo, Semi Tadulala; Tim Taylor, Dave Lewis; Pierre Capdevielle, Darren Dawidiuk, Rupert Harden; Adam Eustac

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