Gloucester v London Wasps Premiership Preview

London Wasps Director of Rugby Dai Young has made three changes in the starting line-up face Gloucester at Kingsholm on Saturday in the Aviva Premiership.

Tommy Bell gets his first start for Wasps in place of skipper Hugo Southwell at fullback who misses out with a hand injury this week; James Haskell starts in place of Joe Launchbury, who is out with a knock, while Zak Taulafo starts after this try-scoring impact from the bench last weekend.

Marco Wentzel captains the side this weekend as Wasps go in search of a first win on the road this season following a bonus point victory over London Irish at Adams Park last time out.

Young said: “We are looking for a consistent 80 minute performance which we haven’t put together yet in any of our three games.”

“We have a chance of going down there and winning if we do that well, and if we don’t they are a physical side with backs who can really punish you.”

Gloucester Rugby’s solo victory in their last nine encounters was 40-31 at London Irish in round two. Gloucester have now slipped to four successive home defeats but haven’t lost five in a row at Kingsholm since 1995.

London Wasps ended an unwanted sequence of five consecutive defeats in Aviva Premiership Rugby with their 43-14 victory over London Irish at Adams Park on Saturday.

Wasps most recent win away from home in the Premiership came at Worcester last October.

Each side won its respective home game in last season’s Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign, whilst Wasps only success at Kingsholm since 2006 was 35-6 on 24 October 2009.

Gloucester Director of Rugby Nigel Davies has named Rob Cook and Sione Kalamafoni in the starting line up to face London Wasps at Kingsholm in the Aviva Premiership on Saturday.

Cook and Kalamafoni have both already made their bows as replacements in the Premiership this season, but are called into the starting line up as Davies makes seven changes, three positional, to the side that started at Worcester last weekend.

Cook comes in at full back as Jonny May moves to the right wing with Charlie Sharples and Shane Monahan both sidelined.

Freddie Burns returns at fly half and, to accommodate him, Billy Twelvetrees moves across to inside centre.

Darren Dawidiuk gets the nod at hooker and Tom Savage moves into the second row from the blind side flank with Tongan international Kalamafoni taking over the number six shirt.

As Gloucester return to Kingsholm for the first time since the opening day of the season, Davies feels that his side have developed over the past couple of weeks.

“We’ve learned a lot about ourselves, we’ve been able to progress and have had three competitive fixtures now. That’s where you really test yourselves.

“We’ve learned a lot. I believe we’ve got a clear understanding of where our game needs to be and what it’s about and, if we can get anywhere near it, then we’re going to play a good brand of rugby come Saturday.”

Match : Gloucester Rugby v London Wasps
Date : Saturday 22nd September
Venue : Kingsholm,
Kick Off : 3.15 pm
Live on: SKY HD
Referee: Martin Fox (81st Premiership game)
Assistant Referees: Nigel Carrick, Andrew Watson.
TMO: Graham Hughes


London Wasps:

15 Tommy Bell , 14 Tom Varndell , 13 Elliot Daly , 12 Andrea Masi , 11 Christian Wade , 10 Stephen Jones , 9 Joe Simpson, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Jonathan Poff , 6 James Haskell , 5 Marco Wentzel (c) , 4 Tom Palmer , 3 Zak Taulafo, 2 T Rhys Thomas, 1 Tim Payne

Replacements: 16 Tom Lindsay , 17 Simon McIntyre , 18 Fabio Staibano , 19 James Cannon , 20 Billy Vunipola , 21 Charlie Davies , 22 Nick Robinson , 23 Jack Wallace


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