Champions set for Kingsholm test
October 29, 2010
After beating Bath Alesana Tuilagi and co travel to Gloucester © Getty Images
Champions Leicester travel to Kingsholm on Saturday off the back of a satisfying victory over Bath and the Tigers looking to leapfrog Gloucester into the top four.
The hosts beat Harlequins in a high scoring affair last time out, but they will need to tighten up defensively and give away less penalties if they are to hold out the Tigers. Leicester have lost twice on the road already this season and the Shed will be baying for green, white and red blood.
Gloucester - Player to Watch: Nicky Robinson will need to improve his accuracy if the hosts are to exploit Leicester's apparant frailty on the road. The Welsh fly-half has missed more kicks than anyone else in the league but he has the potential to unlock defences.
Gloucester - Team News: Youngsters Henry Trinder and Jonny May link up in midfield while Scotland international Rory Lawson returns at scrum-half. Paul Doran-Jones starts in the front-row after being released by England while Jim Hamilton is named in the second-row after recovering from injury.
Leicester - Player to Watch: New Zealander Scott Hamilton has been Leicester's go to man for tries this season and his experience and know how will be crucial if they are to improve their away record.
Leicester - Team News: James Grindal, Billy Twelvetrees, Ben Woods and Martin Castrogiovanni all return to the starting XV while Jordan Crane returns from injury on the bench. Former Cardiff and Bristol scrum-half Jason Spice is named among the replacements after joining on a short-term deal.
Key Battle: Given the relative inexperience of Gloucester's midfield, the settled Leicester pairing of Matt Smith and Anthony Allen - in action against his former club - will hope to make major inroads.
Trivia: Gloucester prop Doran-Jones has given away more defensive penalties than any other player in the Aviva Premiership with five.
Stats: Gloucester are unbeaten at Kingsholm in their last 15 matches in all competitions since losing to Cardiff Blues in last season's Anglo-Welsh Cup.
"We're fairly confident at the moment but there's certainly no arrogance or complacency. At Kingsholm, we believe that we have a bit of an asset in the Shed and the home crowd in general who are phenomenal for us but we don't think we're invincible." - Gloucester boss Bryan Redpath
""From the club's point of view, it is not ideal, with Cole being away and Castrogiovanni and Ayerza going to be away too. At the moment, we have two fit props because [Ryan] Bower and [Jonny] Harris are also injured." - Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill describes their injury woes to The Leicester Mercury.
Fantasy:Thomas Waldrom's 25 points make him a solid addition to any backrow. Has he made the cut in your ESPN Fantasy Premiership Game team?
Prediction: The Tigers are walking wounded at the moment and lacking the poise of Toby Flood at fly-half - Gloucester should nick this one in front of the shed.
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