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Hamilton boost for Gloucester

Gloucester hope that line-out giant Jim Hamilton can help lift their performance level when they resume Aviva Premiership business against London Irish on Sunday.

The 6ft 8in Scotland international makes his Gloucester debut after recovering from a virus that reduced him to the role of frustrated spectator during error-strewn appointments with Exeter and Leeds Carnegie.

Hamilton's Scotland Test colleague Alasdair Strokosch also features as Gloucester look to erase memories of last season's 40-10 Madejski Stadium mauling when they had four players sin-binned.

"Jim is another line-out option," said Gloucester head coach Bryan Redpath. "He's obviously a big man, he has called line-outs for Scotland and Edinburgh and he takes a little bit of heat off 'Browny' (second-row partner Alex Brown).

"He's a big angry man. He's 130kgs, which hopefully he is going to throw around. He's here to be physical, and that is what we want."

While Gloucester began their Premiership campaign by losing to top-flight newcomers Exeter and then scraping a one-point win against Leeds, Irish beat Saracens comfortably before gaining a losing bonus point at Bath.

And Redpath knows his players will need a considerable improvement to challenge an Irish side buoyed by returning centre Seilala Mapusua and lock Nick Kennedy.

"We have made too many individual errors," he added. "I think it was 25 against Exeter and 17 last Saturday. We're creating a huge amount of scoring opportunities, but not finishing them off.

"We've been far better than we have been previously, both defensively and in terms of discipline, but we need to show a little more patience and composure.

"Irish are a good side. They have a dangerous back-three, and if you kick poorly and you kick loosely, you are going to get punished."


From Belfast Telegraph