Gloucester vs London Welsh LV= Cup preview

London Welsh will visit Kingsholm this weekend as Gloucester Rugby play their first home fixture in this season’s Anglo Welsh LV= Cup.

Nigel Davies welcomes back a host of experienced players after Gloucester kicked off their LV= Cup campaign with a narrow 33-27 defeat away at the Ospreys last weekend.

So, to keep their competition hopes alive, a win is a must this weekend and, having had a couple of weekends off, a number of players need a run out ahead of the return to Aviva Premiership action next Saturday.

Amongst those returning are Freddie Burns, Ben Morgan and Billy Twelvetrees who have been away training with England.

Similarly, Akapusi Qera, who played for Fiji against England at Twickenham last weekend, returns in the back row.

Discussing the fixture with the local media this week, Forwards Coach Carl Hogg admitted that Gloucester are expecting a tough encounter.

“First and foremost, we’re going into the game looking for a performance. We can’t get carried away with outcomes.

“London Welsh gave us a very tough time down there in the Aviva Premiership. There were one or two critical moments where we managed to get on top down there.

“They’re a very difficult team to break down and bring different challenges. We need to perform well on Saturday, get our first 20 minutes right and see where the game takes us.

“But, we’re under no illusions. It’s a very tough task against London Welsh at the weekend.”

Welsh went down 42-15 to the Exeter Chiefs at the Kassam Stadium in round 1 last weekend, conceding four tries in the last 16 minutes.

London Welsh head coach Lyn Jones makes 11 changes, including two positional, for the trip to Kingsholm.

Ex-Gloucester back Tom Voyce moves to full back, with on loan Dan Caprice starting on the right wing. At scrum half, Jamie Stephenson, on loan from London Scottish, starts with Nick Runciman named among the replacements.

In the forwards, Jones names an entirely new front five. Tom Bristow, on trial Will Hafu and Paulica Ion make up the front row, while Adam Brown and Matt Corker are partnered in the second row.

Lee Beach is the only survivor from the pack which lined up against the Chiefs, although he moves from number eight to blindside, with another former Cherry and White, Adam Balding, given the number eight jersey on first start for the Exiles.

Michael Hills is named at openside. On the bench, the Exiles include Paul Spivey, also on loan from London Scottish, while there’s a return from injury to the London Welsh match-day 23 for Ed Jackson.

“This Saturday’s fixture against Gloucester offers a good opportunity for individuals to put their hand up for selection for our trip to Northampton Saints in the Aviva Premiership the following week,” said Jones.

“We did some good things Exeter, but we also did some not so good things, and we were all pretty disappointed with the outcome. Likewise I’m sure Gloucester will have been disappointed not to get a victory against the Ospreys.

“But Saturday is about our performance and individuals. Lots of players are still coming to grips with the consistency that Premiership squads bring and the concentration levels required for 80 minutes.

“Many parts of our game against Exeter were very good, but not all the time, and when people lost concentration they hurt us.

“We’ve included in our squad for Saturday two players on loan from London Scottish, Paul Spivey and Jamie Stephenson, who’ve done well for us this year whenever they’ve played. It’s a great opportunity for them to play at a higher level.”

Match : Gloucester vs London Welsh
Date : Saturday 17/11/2012
Venue : Kingsholm
Kick Off : 4:30pm
Live on: N/A



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