Gloucester v Worcester Premiership preview

Gloucester have lost their last two Aviva Premiership Rugby matches by just two points each time. Gloucester are unbeaten in their last 19 Premiership encounters at Kingsholm – their second best home run since their sequence of 24 games without defeat at the venue between 2001-03.

Worcester Warriors defeated Sale at Sixways on Saturday and have never begun a Premiership campaign with back to back victories. The Warriors have not won on the road in the Premiership since they defeated Gloucester at Kingsholm in April 2009.

Gloucester’s 23-22 victory at Sixways in May 2010 ended a run of four successive winless matches against the Warriors in the Premiership.

Gloucester Rugby head Coach Bryan Redpath has named two players, Nick Runciman and Tom Savage, for their full Aviva Premiership debuts this week.

Runciman comes in for the injured Dave Lewis and will make his full Gloucester debut against one of his former clubs.

Meanwhile, Tom Savage also makes his full debut in the place of Alex Brown who also picked up a knock against the Northampton Saints last Sunday.

Those two apart, it’s the same starting up that came so close to earning an opening day victory at Franklin’s Gardens.

The Warriors, freshly promoted from the Championship, did kick off their 2011-12 campaign with a 17-12 home win over Sale Sharks and will enter the game brimming with confidence.

They also possess a more than decent record against Gloucester in recent seasons, including a 13 all draw on their last visit in January 2010.

Accordingly, despite many pundits tipping the Warriors for a relegation battle, Head Coach Bryan Redpath is having none of it.

“Most of the people saying those things are paid to have an opinion. Players, coaches etc have too much respect for each other to talk about who will be top or bottom. They know how difficult it is.”

“The last time Worcester played at Kingsholm, they played very well as they did the previous time. It’d be naive to think that this would be an easy game. They’ve got virtually a full squad while we’ve got players away and injured but that’s just life.”

“We’re back at Kingsholm and the Gloucester crowd have been brilliant for us over the past few season. It’s important now that we do ourselves justice, tidy up our execution, precision and discipline and hopefully go one better than last week.”

Meanwhile Worcester Warriors fly half Joe Carlisle and hooker Chris Fortey have both been called-up for Saturday.

Talented back Carlisle will make his first appearance of the season as he links up with Shaun Perry at half back as Head Coach Richard Hill makes two changes from the team that won on the opening day.

Fortey will pack down against his former club and is joined by Matt Mullan and Tevita Taumoepeau in the front row after the two prop powerhouses impressed against Sale Sharks.

Another ex-Gloucester player Marcel Garvey also returns to his former side and will make his 100th start for Warriors after being named on the wing.

Utility back Tom Arscott, fresh from an outstanding display against Exeter United earlier in the week for Worcester Cavaliers, wins , a place on the replacements bench as he takes the spot of hamstring injury victim Chris Pennell.The Bookies have given Worcester an 11 point start for this match.

Match : Gloucester Rugby v Worcester Warriors
Date:Saturday 10th September
Venue :Kingsholm
Kick Off : 3pm
Referee: Luke Pearce (1st Premiership game)


Gloucester Rugby:Olly Morgan; Charlie Sharples, Jonny May, Lesley Vainikolo, James Simpson-Daniel; Tim Taylor, Nick Runciman; Nick Wood, Darren Dawidiuk, Dario Chistolini; Will Jame

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