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Harlequins v Gloucester Premiership Preview


Harlequins host Gloucester at the Twickenham Stoop

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Article Published: Friday 2 November 2012


Gloucester Director of Rugby Nigel Davies has made four changes to the team that defeated Leicester Tigers last weekend for this weekend's Aviva Premiership clash against at Harlequins on Saturday.

Defending Aviva Premiership Rugby champions Harlequins returned to the top of the table following their 31-28 victory at London Irish on Sunday so this clash pits first against third at the Stoop.

Davies has made one injury enforced change with Matt Cox coming in for Sione Kalamafoni on the blindside flank, while Charlie Sharples is away with England and is replaced by Shane Monahan.

The remaining changes see Dan Murphy named as the loose head prop in place of Nick Wood, while Martyn Thomas gets the nod at full back ahead of Rob Cook. Cook and Wood are both named amongst the replacements.

Gloucester come into the game having defeated the Leicester Tigers last weekend, a hugely physical encounter. However, Davies told the media this week that the training schedule has been tweaked accordingly.

"It hasn't affected our preparations, it's just altered them a little. We had to give everything against Leicester so we've adjusted things a little and given the players a couple of days off.

"Hopefully, it'll pay dividends for us this weekend. The most important day of the week for us is matchday and, hopefully, we'll be in the right place physically and mentally."

Both squads have been affected by international call ups, but Davies is still expecting to come up against a powerful Quins outfit.

"They'll still be strong. You don't win this league without having a strong squad of players, and they did it with some style last season. They're the champions and will be favourites this weekend.

"We've just got to turn up with the same mentality we've had all season, to fight hard for the shirt and for each other."

Quins tripped up in their last game at the Stoop in the Premiership but have not lost successive home games at the venue in the tournament since May 2011.

Gloucester Rugby's only defeat so far this season came in the opening weekend at home to Northampton.

The Cherry & Whites are the only unbeaten side away from home in Aviva Premiership Rugby this season.

The last eleven encounters between the two clubs in the Premiership have all been won by the home side on the day, whilst Gloucester's most recent victory at the Twickenham Stoop in the competition was 31-21 on 9 September 2006.

With three Harlequins players being released back to the club from the England squad, Mike Brown starts at full-back while George Robson takes his usual place in the second row.

Jordan Turner-Hall has also been released and following consultation with the England management, the centre will undergo a rehabilitation and conditioning programme to allow his knee to settle further, as a result Tom Casson continues at inside centre with Matt Hopper outside him.

Sam Smith replaces Ugo Monye on the wing, while Nick Evans, who signed a new three year contract with the club this week, returns from injury to join Karl Dickson in the half backs.

Mark Lambert starts at loose head prop while Joe Gray returns from injury to start at hooker. Luke Wallace comes into the back row with Maurie Fa'asavalu and captain, Nick Easter.

Among the Harlequins replacements, Academy scrum-half Jordan Burns will look to make his first senior appearance.

Match : Harlequins v Gloucester Rugby
Date : Saturday 3rd November
Venue : Twickenham Stoop
Kick Off : 5.15pm
Live on: Sky Sports HD
Referee: Wayne Barnes (112th Premiership game)
Assistant Referees:Paul Dix, Robin Goodliffe.
TMO: Geoffrey Warren

Teams

Harlequins

15. Mike Brown , 14. Tom Williams , 13. Matt Hopper , 12. Tom Casson , 11. Sam Smith , 10. Nick Evans , 9. Karl Dickson , 8. Nick Easter (C) , 7. Luke Wallace , 6. MaurieFa'asavalu, 5. George Robson, 4. Olly Kohn , 3. James Johnston , 2. Joe Gray ,1. Mark Lambert

Replacements :16. Rob Buchanan , 17. Darryl Marfo , 18. Will Collier , 19. Charlie Matthews , 20. Tom Guest , 21. Jordan Burns , 22. Ben Botica , 23. Seb Stegmann

Gloucester

Martyn Thomas; Shane Monahan, Mike Tindall (capt), Billy Twelvetrees, James Simpson-Daniel; Freddie Burns, Jimmy Cowan; Dan Murphy, Huia Edmonds, Rupert Harden; Tom Savage, Will James; Matt Cox, Akapusi Qera, Ben Morgan

Replacements:Tommaso d'Apice, Nick Wood, Dario Chistolini, Peter Buxton, Gareth Evans, Dan Robson, Tim Molenaar, Rob Cook

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Aviva Premiership Rugby
Pos
Team
Pld
W
D
L
Pts
1
16
13
0
3
60
2
Bath Rugby
15
10
0
5
47
3
Saracens
15
9
1
5
44
4
Exeter Chiefs
15
9
0
6
44
             
5
Sale Sharks
15
9
0
6
43
6
Leicester Tigers
15
9
1
5
43
7
Wasps
15
8
1
6
43
8
Gloucester Rugby
15
7
0
8
35
9
Harlequins
16
7
0
9
35
10
Newcastle Falcons
15
4
1
10
23
11
London Irish
15
4
0
11
23
12
London Welsh
15
0
0
15
1
Last update :27/2/15 - Verified each monday

Note: Click on team names above for more info
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