Round-Up: Tindall fit to face resurgent Bristol

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The Independent Online

The 26-year-old centre has passed a fitness test on the hip injury he suffered against Sale last weekend and can be expected to pose a serious threat to the home team's chances of maintaining a 100 per cent record since their recent return to the top flight.

Following season-opening victories over Bath and Newcastle, the Bristol fly-half Jason Strange said: "We're loving it! I woke up last Monday morning and couldn't believe we were top of the table. When you see clubs like Leicester and Wasps below your team, it is tremendous. But we know there's a hell of a hard season ahead and Gloucester will be a huge game."

Strange, 31, who came to Bristol via Ebbw Vale, Llanelli, Newport and Rotherham, has played a pivotal role in the team's success. Prior to today's outing at the Memorial Stadium, he has yet to miss a kick at goal this term, a record matched only by the Wasps full-back Mark van Gisbergen.

However, Strange could have his work cut out as Bristol will be taking on a powerful Gloucester pack without their injured forwards Mark Regan and Gareth Llewellyn.

Iain Balshaw takes over the Leeds captaincy for today's meeting with Wasps at Headingley. The Tykes, currently propping up the table, are seeking their first win following defeats by London Irish and Saracens.

"We haven't got off on the right foot so far this season, but we know we need to put things right on Sunday or a team like Wasps can really take advantage," said Balshaw. "We're trying to play a different style this year, and have stripped the game back to basics and worked on core skills."

Leeds' Italy international Roland de Marigny switches from centre to fly-half, while unbeaten Wasps give a first start to the England scrum-half Matt Dawson.

Bedford moved to second place in National League One with a 34-13 defeat of Sedgley Park yesterday. Coventry, Exeter, London Welsh and Plymouth Albion also won.

Ulster's pulsating 30-23 success over Edinburgh at Ravenhill on Friday night put them top of the Celtic League. Twenty of their points came from the boot of their Ireland fly-half David Humphreys.

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