Gloucester Rugby v Wasps Premiership Preview

Gloucester Rugby host Wasps at Kingsholm

Wasps’ Director of Rugby Dai Young has named a side with one change for Saturday’s Aviva Premiership match against Gloucester Rugby at Kingsholm.

The only change to the starting line-up from last Sunday’s win against Harlequins comes in the front row, where Edd Shervington starts at hooker.

Simon McIntyre, Sam Jones and Ruaridh Jackson return from injury to take a place on the bench. Wasps also welcome back from RBS 6 Nations’ duty Wales lock Bradley Davies and Italy tighthead Lorenzo Cittadini.

Ahead of the trip to Kingsholm, Dai Young said: “We’ve put together a good run over recent weeks and we certainly have momentum, but we’re not getting ahead of ourselves.”

“After 14 games last season we were in 4th place with 41 points and this season after 14 games we’re third with 42 points, so we are in a very similar position to where we were last year. ”

“Unfortunately we fell away last year, so this year we’ve just got to keep our foot on the pedal. We haven’t achieved anything yet and know there’s still a lot of hard work to do.

“We all know how tough a place Kingsholm is to get a result and Gloucester are also in really good form. I think they’ve only lost once at home in their last nine games, so we know we will need to be at our best if we are to keep our good run going.”

Gloucester Rugby have lost only one of their last four Aviva Premiership Rugby fixtures: 12-25 at Saracens in round 13.

loucester’s only defeat in their last nine matches at Kingsholm was 18-19 to Leicester on 30th January.

Wasps are the best side in Aviva Premiership Rugby on current form having won their last six matches and dropped only three possible league points in the process.

Wasps only away defeat in the competition since round 3 came when they visited Sale on 2nd January.

Wasps have won their last six encounters with Gloucester since the Cherry & White’s 29-22 victory at Kingsholm in September 2012.

Gloucester have made four changes to the starting line up that defeated Newcastle last weekend with Greig Laidlaw returning from Scotland duty to captain the side.

Laidlaw comes in for Willi Heinz who was withdrawn from the Falcons game at half time a week ago with a tight calf. It is the only change to the back line.

In the pack, there are three changes as Gloucester continue their rotation policy of recent weeks. Tom Savage returns to partner Jeremy Thrush in the second row, while Sione Kalamafoni and Matt Kvesic come into the back row.

With eight points separating third place in the table from eighth, every game has significance at this stage of the season and Head Coach Laurie Fisher knows that Gloucester have a fight on their hands this weekend against an in-form Wasps side.

“Wasps have been in great form. They’ve obviously been outstanding in Europe, had an enormous win against Saracens away from home and another quality performance against Harlequins. They’re flying high and will be enormously challenging.”

However, Fisher stresses that Gloucester will be focusing on what they do best rather than trying to change things up for the visit of Dai Young’s side.

“We won’t be changing what we’re trying to do dramatically for the opposition, we’ll be trying to play our game. But we’ve got to find some space on the field, we’ve got to muscle up on some carries, we’ve got to get some tempo in our game. But balance and pragmatism will win out still.”

And the Head Coach admits that the home factor could be significant.

“Kingsholm’s a great venue for us and we get wonderful support and tremendous inspiration at that venue. It’s always handy when you’re playing at home and that gives us our best chance of playing our best. We really want to put in a performance.

“We’re trying to build that resilience and real pride at performing at home. So, I think you’ll see us putting our best foot forward on Saturday.”

Match : Gloucester Rugby v Wasps
Date : Saturday 5 March
Venue : Kingsholm,
Kick Off : 3pm
Live on: N.A
Match Officials
Referee : Luke Pearce (47th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Nigel Carrick & Paul Burton.
TMO: David Rose.



15. Rob Cook; 14. Charlie Sharples, 13. Bill Meakes, 12. Billy Twelvetrees, 11. Henry Purdy; 10. James Hook, 9. Greig Laidlaw (capt); 1. Paddy McAllister, 2. Richard Hibbard, 3. John Afoa; 4. Tom Savage, 5. Jeremy Thrush; 6. Sione Kalamafoni, 7. Matt Kvesic, 8. Ross Moriarty

Replacements: 16. Darren Dawidiuk, 17. Yann Thomas, 18. Paul Doran-Jones, 19. Mariano Galarza, 20. Lewis Ludlow, 21. Callum Braley, 22. Billy Burns, 23. Henry Trinder


15. Rob Miller, 14. Christian Wade, 13. Charles Piutau, 12. Siale Piutau, 11. Frank Halai, 10. Jimmy Gopperth, 9. Dan Robson, 8. Nathan Hughes, 7. George Smith, 6. Thomas Young, 5. Kearnan Myall, 4. James Cannon, 3. Jake Cooper-Woolley, 2. Edd Shervington, 1. Matt Mullan

Replacements, 16. Ashley Johnson, 17. Simon McIntyre, 18. Lorenzo Cittadini, 19. Bradley Davies, 20. Sam Jones, 21. Jamie Stevenson, 22. Ruaridh Jackson, 23. Brendan Macken

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