Quins block Redpath's route to play-offs


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The Independent Online

Gloucester coach Bryan Redpath has challenged his side to keep their push for a play-off place on track by ending their poor run against Premiership leaders Harlequins at Kingsholm today.

Back-to-back wins over Northampton and Bath have seen the Cherry and Whites rise to sixth in the table, just three points from a top-four berth.

Today's meeting with Quins and next weekend's trip to face Leicester round out a quartet of games that Redpath has identified as a critical spell for his team. But to keep their good run going they will need to see off a Quins side who have won all three meetings between the sides so far this term.

Gloucester were unlucky to lose the last of those encounters as they were edged out 20-14 after a battling Heineken Cup display at the Stoop.

And Redpath wants his side to put things right on home turf. "Saturday is round three of four massive matches for us and we have to make sure we're up for it. There's no better challenge for us after three previous defeats against Quins," he said. "They're a good side [but] every game we've improved. We've had our chances against them, they've just been far more clinical with the opportunities they've created. It's a real challenge but a good one, and one we should be looking forward to."

Redpath has been forced into three changes from last week's derby win at Bath as hooker Darren Dawidiuk and lock Will James come in for Scotland squad members Scott Lawson and Jim Hamilton, while an injury to centre Eliota Fuimaono-Sapolu sees Henry Trinder come into midfield.

Quins have Mike Brown away with England so Ross Chisholm starts at full-back, while Jordan Turner-Hall starts at centre following his release from Stuart Lancaster's squad. Scrum-half Karl Dickson makes his 50th appearance while Joe Gray, Tomas Vallejos and Tom Guest are selected in the pack.

Today's two other fixtures see Newcastle travelling to face Leicester, while Exeter will look to keep their semi-final aspirations on track as they host Bath.