Tindall and Robinson pay price for Gloucester's failings

Weekend preview



Gloucester v Wasps


"There's a lot riding on this game," says Bryan Redpath, the Gloucester coach, and he's not wrong.

If the West Countrymen are to salvage something from a thoroughly rotten September – two flaccid displays on the road, one scratchy victory over Leeds at home – they must win, and win well, against a peculiarly inconsistent Wasps side this afternoon. If they go under, the rumblings from the Kingsholm Shed will be close to deafening by close of play.

Mike Tindall, the captain, has been relegated to the bench – alarming news for the England hierarchy, who consider him a first-choice centre – so Rory Lawson leads the side from scrum-half. There is a change at outside-half, too: Nicky Robinson, cast in the villain's role when Gloucester fell to Exeter in the opening round, makes way for Tim Taylor in a revamped midfield.

Dave Attwood, fast closing in on a first Test cap, returns to the engine room and has a chance to put one over on Simon Shaw, his rival for the front-jumping slot against the All Blacks in November. For their part, the Londoners will be led by Phil Vickery, once a great favourite of the Cotswold cognoscenti.

Leicester v Leeds

The Yorkshiremen have a dogged look about them, but even mongrels grow tired of finishing second every week. Sadly for them, the losing streak is unlikely to end today. Welford Road is not the most obvious place to go looking for a first victory of the campaign, and even though Exeter gave the champions an almighty hurry-up a fortnight ago, even a Leicester side as fragile as this one generally find a way to win on home territory.

The two Dans, Hipkiss and Cole, return for the Midlanders – bad news for Leeds – and there is a batch of bristling new signings on the bench. The visitors must pray that a Leicester old boy, the outstanding Marco Wentzel, works his magic in the line-out.

Harlequins v Exeter

It had to happen some time. After fielding the same starting line-up for three weeks running, Exeter have lost a player to injury. Nic Sestaret, the Frenchman, moves from right wing to centre for the incapacitated Phil Dollman, with Matt Jess filling the hole. Elsewhere, the Premiership new boys stick with what they know. Quins restore Nick Easter to his optimum position of No 8 and give the much talked-about prop Joe Marler a first start in the front row.

Bath v Sale

Bath were given a horrible going-over by Northampton last week and suddenly look vulnerable: a little elderly in the tight five, a little slow elsewhere. Sale are no world-beaters, but they found a way to win their two home games and are performing as well anyone might reasonably expect, given the unfamiliarity running through the side. Dwayne Peel is back at scrum-half, which should help no end.

Newcastle v London Irish

Bolstered by new investment – the businessman Semore Kurdi bought a 40 per cent stake in the club this week – Newcastle have all the incentive they need to produce a performance this evening. James Hudson's dodgy hamstring robs them of leadership, athleticism and energy, but the Samoan lock Filipo Levi is no mug and it may be that they will test an unchanged Exiles outfit.

Saracens v Northampton

Tomorrow's humdinger deserves a better venue than Vicarage Road. It also deserves all the best players on the field. Unfortunately, Saracens go in without the injured Alex Goode, one of their star turns last season, while the leaders must do without the England wing Chris Ashton. They say he's being "rested". The crutches tell a different tale.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum