Double boost on the cards

England boss Andy Robinson could be the main beneficiary of Gloucester's Guinness Premiership clash against Worcester. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

England boss Andy Robinson could be the main beneficiary of Gloucester’s Guinness Premiership clash against Worcester.

World Cup winners Iain Balshaw and Mike Tindall set off on the comeback trail barely three weeks before England’s opening autumn Test appointment with New Zealand at Twickenham.

Full-back Balshaw has been sidelined since suffering an ankle injury during his Premiership debut for Gloucester against Bath on September 3.

Centre Tindall, meanwhile, has yet to appear this term because of calf muscle trouble. Balshaw will start tomorrow, with his colleague on the bench.

Gloucester assistant coach Bryan Redpath said: "Both Mike and Iain have had no reaction all week, and it is fantastic to have them involved again.

Google Ad Manager – In Article

"Mike’s injury was slightly longer term than originally anticipated because of complications, but it was vitally important both he and the club got the problem right.

"He will be going into this game in really good shape."

Balshaw features in an all-English Gloucester back division with an average age of 23. It also includes fly-half prospect Ryan Lamb for his first start of the campaign, plus 20-year-old centres Anthony Allen and Jack Adams.

Up front, there should be a first opportunity for Italian prop Carlos Nieto, who underwent shoulder surgery following his summer arrival at Kingsholm.

Nieto joins Tindall among the replacements, and Redpath added: "To have a player of his expertise and quality for a game of this significance is crucial to us."

Second-placed Gloucester are looking to preserve their unbeaten league record this term, and will move top if they win.

In stark contrast, Worcester collected just two losing bonus points from a September series of defeats against Bristol, Newcastle, Sale Sharks and Bath.

The Warriors welcome back fly-half Shane Drahm and wing Aisea Havili from respective hamstring and foot problems, but lock Craig Gillies misses out due to a knee strain and wing Marcel Garvey was not considered following a bout of gastroenteritis.

Previous story White opts for experience
Next story Ryan impressed by young guns
Download