Cherries' home run faces sternest test

Gloucester v Saracens
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The Independent Online

The unstoppable force meets the immovable object in the 5.45pm kick-off at Kingsholm today.

It is two years and four days since Gloucester lost a home Premiership fixture, a run of 22 matches. Saracens have not lost on the road on the league front since January.

Something will have to give. Probably, at any rate. Indeed, the statisticians might suggest that a draw is the most likely outcome.

Sarries have the momentum of five wins from six in the league as they look to defend the title they won in May. They have the wily Charlie Hodgson at No 10 and Owen Farrell – England's outside-half-in-waiting – at 13.

The Cherry and Whites have a World Cup bad boy at inside-centre, the tweeting Samoan Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu. Mike Tindall starts on the bench. According to Bryan Redpath, Gloucester's director of rugby, Saracens have got "the best lineout" in the Premiership, "a strong and efficient scrum" and in Springbok hooker Schalk Brits "probably the best player in the Premiership". "They've also got the best away record which we're well aware of so it's a real challenge, which we've got to be up for. We'll have to be at our best."