Aviva Premiership: Gloucester v Sale
Saturday November 24
International weekend it might be, but those heading to Twickenham might want to find their way to a pub with a TV first. That’s because the Aviva Premiership is back in action, and Saturday’s early game should be an absolute belter.
After an opening day defeat, Gloucester had gone eight games unbeaten before Harlequins put them to bed in their previous league outing at the start of the month, and they’ll be determined to get back on track tomorrow. With Jimmy Cowan at scrum half, and Billy Twelvetrees slotting in at inside centre, Gloucester also have Freddie Burns maturing into England’s next big hope in the number 10 shirt. He’ll be looking to make his mark again against a struggling Sale side. With the finishing power Gloucester possess out wide, and the sheer strength up front, Burns (above) has been the link man who has dictated so much success in the West Country.
Sale, meanwhile, might be on their third head coach of the season already, but they got that elusive first win last time out. That victory over London Irish means the gap at the bottom is just four points, and it should allow them to concentrate on picking up points without the ever-present spectre of a no-win season.
Danny Cipriani has lit up Sale’s season in fits and starts, but the Shed Heads at Kingsholm aren’t known for their warm welcome, so the mercurial Englishman will need to keep his head to get his backs going and use the power runners that can cause the home team damage. Fail to keep calm in Kingsholm’s cauldron, and Gloucester might just run riot here.