Gloucester Rugby v Harlequins Premiership Preview

Gloucester Rugby host Harlequins at Kingsholm

Harlequins have made three changes to their team to play Gloucester Rugby in Round 12 of the Aviva Premiership at Kingsholm on Saturday.

There are three changes to the starting team which played Northampton Saints last week. Joe Gray starts at hooker, with Dave Ward named at openside flanker.

Nick Easter picked up a knock last weekend and is expected to return next week for the match against Sale Sharks.

In the one change to the backs, Tim Visser returns from an injury sustained in the corresponding fixture in December.

Among the replacements, Winston Stanley and James Chisholm are named.

Gloucester Rugby’s solitary defat in their last four first team fixtures was by the narrowest of margins to Leicester at Kinsgholm in round 10 of Aviva Premiership Rugby.

Gloucester have not suffered successive home defeats in the tournament since December 2014. Harlequins have slipped to three successive defeats at Montpellier, at Newcastle and at home to Northampton, whilst away from home in Aviva Premiership Rugby their record this season is won two, lost three.

The two sides drew 39-all in front of over 70,000 fans at Twickenham in the ‘Big Game’ in December, their first tie in competitive rugby since a 9-9 scoreline at the same venue in the old Division 1 in November 1987.

‘Quins only victory at Kingsholm in Premiership Rugby since 1999 came on their most recent visit in the competition in November 2014.

Meanwhile Gloucester have been able to bring back flanker Matt Kvesic as the one change to the starting side that won at Bath last Friday..

The Gloucester Rugby coaching staff understandably keep the faith with the bulk of the side that performed so well in earning the local bragging rights with the win at the Rec. Kvesic was a second half replacement during that game.

There is more upheaval, however, on the bench, with three new front rowers named in the shape of Tom Lindsay, Dan Murphy and Paul Doran-Jones and the return to the matchday squad of Jeremy Thrush and Rob Cook.

The two teams battled out an entertaining 39-39 draw in the first meeting between the two sides earlier this season, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the local media that not every member of the Gloucester coaching staff was happy with the nature of that game.

“I’m sure if you ask Jonny Bell (Defence Coach), he will say that he certainly doesn’t wan to see the same number of tries conceded!

“It was a great game. Anyone who was there talks about it as being one of the standout games in the Premiership this season, for the quality of rugby played but also for the drama.

“From our point of view, to be leading by ten points going into the last few minutes of the game and not to come away with the win was disappointing. On the other hand, we were a bit lucky that Nick Evans’ last gasp drop goal missed.

“That just shows how evenly matched the teams are. Harlequins will have a few players away due to international commitments, we’re missing a few through injury. But, with the squad we have, we believe we can go out and win this weekend.”

Match : Gloucester Rugby v Harlequins
Date : Saturday 13 February
Venue : Kingsholm,
Kick Off : 3pm
Live on: N.A
Match Officials
Referee :Wayne Barnes (163rd Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Paul Burton & Simon McConnell.
TMO: David Grashoff.



Billy Burns; Charlie Sharples, Billy Meakes, Billy Twelvetrees (capt), Steve McColl; James Hook, Willi Heinz; Paddy McAllister, Richard Hibbard, John Afoa; Tom Savage, Mariano Galarza; Sione Kalamafoni, Matt Kvesic, Ben Morgan

Replacements: Tom Lindsay, Dan Murphy, Paul Doran-Jones, Jeremy Thrush, Jacob Rowan, Callum Braley, Mark Atkinson, Rob Cook


15. Ross Chisholm , 14. Marland Yarde , 13. Matt Hopper , 12. Harry Sloan , 11. Tim Visser , 10. Nick Evans (C) , 9. Tito Tebaldi , , 1. Mark Lambert , 2. Joe Gray , 3. Kyle Sinckler , 4. George Merrick , 5. James Horwill , 6. Luke Wallace , 7. Dave Ward , 8. Mat Luamanu

Replacements : 16. James Chisholm , 17. Owen Evans , 18. Will Collier , 19. Charlie Matthews , 20. Ben Botica , 21. Calum Waters , 22. Winston Stanley , 23. Tim Swiel

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