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Burns stars for Gloucester

Freddie Burns made a mockery of his exclusion from England's autumn Test squad with an impressive performance as Gloucester extended their unbeaten Aviva Premiership record to six games with a 27-21 win over Leicester.

The Gloucester fly-half outshone opposite number Toby Flood - England's current number 10 - through a 17-point haul that included a superb solo try.

But Gloucester still had to dig deep in a gripping encounter, prevailing despite playing almost 10 minutes of the second period with 13 men after scrum-half Jimmy Cowan and full-back Rob Cook were sin-binned.

Tigers collected a penalty try in their absence, while Flood kicked 11 points and wing Scott Hamilton claimed an early touchdown, yet Gloucester deservedly triumphed through tries from Burns, wing Charlie Sharples and magnificent flanker Akapusi Qera.

Gloucester have not suffered a Premiership defeat since Northampton beat them on the league season's opening weekend, and they appear realistic title play-off contenders under rugby director Nigel Davies' assured leadership.

Leicester will feel they should have collected more than just a losing bonus point, given their relentless scrummaging supremacy, but Burns helped ensure it was not to be.

And the 22-year-old will surely be England's loss during their forthcoming autumn series after head coach Stuart Lancaster opted not to promote him from the Saxons squad.

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