London Wasps v Gloucester Premiership Preview

London Wasps have won just one of their last eleven Aviva Premiership Rugby matches since October: 18-13 at home to London Irish on 3 March.

Gloucester Rugby have tripped up with successive defeats in the Premiership to Leicester and Exeter. Gloucester’s only Premiership win on the road since October was 14-11 at Bath on 18 February.

Gloucester have won their last three games against Wasps, but they have only ever been victorious at Adams Park twice before: 25-17 in May 2008 and 10-9 in February 2011.

After the disappointing 27-28 home defeat to the Exeter Chiefs in the Aviva Premiership last weekend, Gloucester Rugby Head Coach Bryan Redpath has rung the changes for Sunday’s trip to Wasps.

The Chiefs clinched the win with a last gasp try awarded after consultation with the Television Match Official and leaves Gloucester in sixth place in the Aviva Premiership table.

As a result, Gloucester need to regroup quickly if they are to achieve their goal of clinching Heineken Cup rugby for next season.

To take on the challenge of winning for only the third time at Adams Park, Redpath duly makes five changes to his starting line up.

A new midfield partnership sees Henry Trinder, recovered from a broken jaw, line up alongside Tim Molenaar while Nick Runciman, a try scorer against the Chiefs, starts at scrum half.

Tom Savage partners Jim Hamilton in the second row in preference to Alex Brown who has been unwell this week while Peter Buxton takes over from the injured Matt Cox on the blindside flank.

Gloucester’s remaining four games are against clubs that are currently below them in the table but Redpath dismissed any thoughts that this might make his team’s run in any easier.

“Not at all. Two of them are in the bottom two and fighting for their lives and that always makes for a dangerous animal. You can come a cropper if you don’t respect that.

“They (Wasps) have had a horrendous injury list and they’ve lost several players to retirement. But that means they have a lot of motivation and a point to prove.

“They’ve got a good group of players and are desperate to do well. Whether they’re big name players or not is irrelevant. It goes back to people’s character and desire on the day. When that’s right, they’re a handful for anyone.

“We have to get our mindset right. We have to carry ball, we have to work hard to get anything out of the game. It’s going to be tough because it’s a big game for both clubs.”

Match : London Wasps v Gloucester
Date : Saturday 31st March
Venue : Adams Park
Kick Off : 3pm
Live on: N/A
Referee: Andrew Small (69th Premiership game)


London Wasps

15. Hugo Southwell (c) , 14. Jack Wallace , 13. Elliot Daly , 12. Paul Emerick , 11. Richard Haughton , 10. Nick Robinson , 9. Nic Berry , 8. Billy Vunipola, 7. Sam Jones , 6. Joe Launchbury , 5. Richard Birkett , 4. James Cannon 3. Ben Broster , 2. Tom Lindsay , 1. Tim Payne

Replacements , 16. Vladislav Korshunov , 17. Sakaria Taulafo , 18. Simon McIntyre , 19. Ross Filipo , 20. Tinus Du Plessis , 21. Charlie Davies , 22. Ryan Davis , 23. Tom Prydie

Gloucester Rugby:

Jonny May; Charlie Sharples, Henry Trinder, Tim Molenaar, James Simpson-Daniel; Freddie Burns, Nick Runciman; Dan Murphy, Scott Lawson, Rupert Harden; Tom Savage, Jim Hamilton; Peter Buxton, Akapusi Qera, Luke Narraway (capt)

Replacements:Darren Dawidiuk, Yann Thomas, Shaun Knight, Alex Brown, Alasdair Strokosch, Dan Robson, Ryan Mills, Mike Tindall

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