Rugby Union: Gloucester will look to beat Premiership relegation candidates London Irish for the fourth time this season tomorrow, but rugby director Nigel Davies has vowed that his side will not be taking anything for granted.
Irish head to Kingsholm after being beaten at home by Gloucester four months ago and then suffering back-to-back Challenge Cup defeats to the same opponents before Christmas.
Yet though the hosts averaged just under 40 points a time over the three fixtures and sit seven places and 22 points above second-bottom Irish in the table, Davies insisted that his players would stay focused.
He said: “London Irish can be dangerous. They are very unpredictable and always have that ability to hurt teams.
“You have to be very careful as we have played them so many times. We don’t want to become too complacent in terms of what we expect from them.”
Davis added: “They will keep probing for opportunities, and they have quality players who can change a game in an instant. When you play a team like that, you have to be 100 per cent focused all the time.
“So, we’ve put in a lot of work this week analysing them again. We are pretty comfortable we have a game that will serve us well if we are accurate and execute well.”
Victory for Gloucester will keep them in the play-off places but the loser of tomorrow’s Sandy Park clash between Exeter and Northampton will drop behind the top-four pace.
Saints, one point above Exeter in sixth, have lost their last two Premiership games, while Exeter boast an unbeaten league record on home soil this season.
“We know how tough it is there, and we will have to be accurate in everything we do,” Northampton rugby director Jim Mallinder said.
“We were a point away from winning away against the second-placed team (Saracens) in the league last weekend. That was positive, but we know that not many teams win in Exeter and we will have to play well.”
Wasps climbed to fifth with last weekend’s bonus point victory against London Welsh and they will protect an unbeaten home record in all competitions this term when Bath arrive at Adams Park on Sunday.
But rugby director David Young is refusing to get carried away after Wasps moved to within touching distance of the title play-off places.
“It is obviously pleasing that we are getting together some momentum now, but as I have said to the players, you only have to look at the table to see how tight it all is,” he said.
In the rest of tomorrow's fixtures, Saracens play a final Premiership game at Vicarage Road before heading to their new Allianz Park base in Barnet next month, with bottom club and relegation favourites Sale Sharks the visitors.
Finally high-flying Harlequins should prove too strong for Kassam Stadium hosts London Welsh, knowing that victory would keep them top of the Premiership before a four-week break for European Cup action.
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