Gloucestershire head into Saturday's Bill Beaumont Cup Final against Lancashire at Twickenham (kick-off 12pm) hoping to win back the illustrious county title for the first time in seven years.
Mark Cornwell's side have been reinvigorated since his appointment as Head Coach this season, and that has seen them sweep aside the opposition in the South to book their place in the final. Somerset, Devon and Cornwall have all been Gloucestershire's casualties.
Cornwell, Academy Coach at Guinness Premiership side Gloucester and former Gloucester player, said:
"The players have done everything I have asked of them this season. I told them at the start of the season I wasn't doing this for fun, I was doing this to get to the final, and they have responded. We have put in some good performances, and I am pleased with the squad and what we have achieved so far."
Traditionally finals in the Bill Beaumont Cup have always been close affairs and this one looks like it won't be any different with Lancashire also on fire having cemented their place in the final with an impressive 80-12 demolition of Northumberland last weekend.
"To be honest I know very little about Lancashire," added Cornwell.
"Looking at their results they have won their games well, but that doesn't tell you a lot about them. They might be a really strong side, or they might have had a weaker pool than us."
"Either way, the final is the next hurdle and that's what we have got to overcome. The players need to make the next step now and I am sure they will."
If Gloucestershire can come home victors they will also secure an impressive 18th county title as well as complete a county winning double, with the Under-20s side having already won their final.
"To win at Twickenham would be a fantastic achievement. For the committee winning an 18th title, equalling Lancashire's record and doing the double, would mean a lot but for me at the moment I'm not thinking about past results."
"My priority is getting this squad ready for Saturday's game. Preparations are going well, we have a fully fit squad and more players available so we are feeling confident."
Speaking to the local media this week, Richard Hibbard expressed his excitement ahead of the West Country derby and that there is an extra spring in the step of the Cherry and Whites ahead of the tough challenge.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees, speaking to GRTV after the 35-10 over Zebre, was happy with the bonus point win over the Italian side but admitted Gloucester will need to tighten up for the return fixture in Parma.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).