Whilst many prepare for New Year celebrations, the Gloucester Rugby ground staff have been hard at work on the Kingsholm pitch to ensure Saturday's Guinness Premiership fixture against Worcester (kick off 3pm) goes ahead as planned.
The pitch has been covered since the Heineken Cup victory over Glasgow Warriors on December 20th to protect it from the cold weather conditions experienced since that game.
However, the frost covers have been removed this morning (Thursday) to allow the pitch to be marked up and divoting etc to take place.
Once this work is completed, the pitch will be recovered to protect it ahead of Saturday.
Gloucester Rugby Operations Manager Sean Roberts told the club website today:
"The pitch is in remarkably good nick considering how long we've had to keep it covered recently."
"Once again though, our ground staff have done an outstanding job and we're confident that we'll have no issues for the weekend."
"Once the Worcester game has taken place, the pitch will be immediately covered once more as we have an A League game against Saracens on Monday night to stage."
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.
Matt Kvesic was a try scorer and recipient of the Man of the Match award in Sunday's 35-10 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Zebre. He praised the Italian side for their spirited opposition and admitted that next week's return game will be a tough one.