Gloucester v London Welsh Premiership Preview

Gloucester Rugby host Northampton Saints at Kingsholm

Gloucester have named Callum Braley to make his Aviva Premiership debut in a side that also features Henry Trinder for this week’s match against London Welsh on Saturday.

Having got 20 minutes under his belt as a replacement at Leicester Tigers last Friday, Trinder will start a Premiership game for the first time since September 13. He will partner Bill Meakes in the Gloucester midfield.

Trinder and Braley are two of the five changes to the starting line-up from the one that took the field against the Leicester at Welford Road.

The other three are all up front. Aleki Lutui comes in for Darren Dawidiuk at hooker, while James Hudson gets the nod to partner Tom Savage in the boiler room. Meanwhile, Ross Moriarty replaces Gareth Evans in the back-row.

The visitors come to Kingsholm without a competitive win so far this season, but director of rugby David Humphreys insists that the squad have taken nothing for granted.

“We’ve prepared this week in exactly the same way as we did for Leicester last weekend. We’ve made sure that the players know what to expect from London Welsh, but also fully understanding how we need to play,” he said.

“When you’re playing teams below you in the league, who haven’t had a good season, there’s the temptation not to prepare in the same way you would normally. But we’ve done everything the same to ensure that we’ll be ready to go, physically and mentally, when we hit the pitch on Saturday.”

Meanwhile, London Welsh have made nine changes, including one positional, for Saturday’s Aviva Premiership fixture, with head coach Justin Burnell forced to shuffle his pack due to injuries.

Welsh head to Kingsholm minus five of the starting line-up which faced Sale Sharks last weekend, with Koree Britton, Nick Scott, Richard Thorpe, Opeti Fonua and Seb Jewell all ruled out through injury.

The London Welsh starting XV includes seven members of its Championship winning team of last season, with five more named on the bench.

In the backs, Elliot Kear is named at full back in place of Jewell, with Alan Awcock coming into the side on the left wing for the sidelined Scott. Will Robinson and Piri Weepu form a new look half-back partnership.

In the forwards, Eddie Aholelei comes in at loosehead with Rob Elloway set to make his first Premiership start in place of Britton. Dean Schofield partners James Down in the second-row, with Ben West moving from lock to blindside flanker to replace the injured Thorpe. Ben Pienaar starts at number eight in place of Fonua.

In terms of form Gloucester’s six game winning run in all competitions ended at Leicester on Friday evening. The Cherry and Whites have won their last four games at Kingsholm in all tournaments since Wasps won there in Aviva Premiership Rugby on 28 December.

London Welsh are still seeking their first victory of the season in any competition.

The Exiles have only tallied more than 20 points in a single game one this season, during their 26-53 defeat at Bath in Premiership Rugby 13 September.

Gloucester have won both of their encounters played this season at Kassam Stadium against London Welsh, 46-10 in Premiership Rugby and 18-9 in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.

London Welsh have only beaten Gloucester once in a competitive match: 14-3 in the third round of the John Player Cup at Kingsholm in January 1983.

Match : Gloucester Rugby v London Welsh
Date : Saturday 21st February
Venue : Kingsholm,
Kick Off : 3pm
Live on: N.A
Match Officials
Referee :
Ian Tempest (6th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Nigel Carrick and Andrew Pearce
TMO: David Grashoff

Teams

Gloucester

15 Billy Burns, 14 Charlie Sharples, 13 Henry Trinder, 12 Bill Meakes, 11 Henry Purdy, 10 James Hook, 9 Callum Braley, 8 Sione Kalamafoni, 7 Matt Kvesic, 6 Ross Moriarty, 5 James Hudson, 4 Tom Savage (c), 3 John Afoa, 2 Aleki Lutui, 1 Dan Murphy.

Replacements: 16 Darren Dawidiuk, 17 Yann Thomas, 18 Sila Puafisi, 19 Elliott Stooke, 20 Gareth Evans, 21 Dan Robson, 22 Mark Atkinson, 23 Jacob Rowan.

London Welsh

15 Elliot Kear, 14 Seb Stegmann, 13 Nic Reynolds, 12 James Tincknell, 11 Alan Awcock, 10 Will Robinson, 9 Piri Weepu, 8 Ben Pienaar, 7 Carl Kirwan (c), 6 Ben West, 5 James Down, 4 Dean Schofield, 3 Taione Vea, 2 Rob Elloway, 1 Eddie Aholelei.

Replacements: 16 Nathan Morris, 17 Nathan Trevett, 18 Jack Gilding, 19 Matt Corker, 20 Lachlan McCaffrey, 21 Rob Lewis, 22 Olly Barkley, 23 James Lewis.

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