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.

News
peopleHowards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, was 60
Sport
Romelu Lukaku puts pen to paper
sport
News
Robyn Lawley
people
Arts and Entertainment
Unhappy days: Resistance spy turned Nobel prize winner Samuel Beckett
books
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Life and Style
Troy Baker and Ashley Johnson voice the show’s heroes
gamingOnce stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover
News
i100
Life and Style
Phones will be able to monitor your health, from blood pressure to heart rate, and even book a doctor’s appointment for you
techCould our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?
News
people
Extras
indybest
Travel
Ryan taming: the Celtic Tiger carrier has been trying to improve its image
travelRyanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?
Sport
Usain Bolt confirms he will run in both the heats and the finals of the men's relay at the Commonwealth Games
commonwealth games
Life and Style
Slim pickings: Spanx premium denim collection
fashionBillionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers 'thigh-trimming construction'
News
Sabina Altynbekova has said she wants to be famous for playing volleyball, not her looks
people
News
i100
Life and Style
tech'World's first man-made leaves' could use photosynthesis to help astronauts breathe
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

Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

We will remember them

Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

Acting in video games gets a makeover

David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

Spanx launches range of jeans

The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
10 best over-ear headphones

Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

Commonwealth Games

David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star