Speaking to the media ahead of Saturday's EDF Energy Cup final, Gloucester Rugby Head Coach Dean Ryan stressed that he would allow key injured players as long as possible to recover.
Centre Mike Tindall and winger Iain Balshaw have both been absent in recent weeks and Ryan, when asked about their status, stated that he will leave a decision until the last possible minute but won't risk long term fitness for short term gain.
Quizzed about Tindall initially:
I think it'll be a late call. He's rehabbing. He is getting better, but it will be a late call."
"Balshaw's probably the same as Tins. If at all, it'll be a late call. He's been rehabbing for most of the week and, if either Tindall or Balshaw are accelerated in any way, then they've got a chance for the weekend."
"We'll give both players as long as possible to be available."
"It does affect preparation. With someone like Tindall, I don't think we've ever been in a final or a playoff final with him."
"He's hugely influential to us and the merits of him dropping in on a Friday or a Saturday certainly outweigh any disruption."
"We wouldn't do it with everybody but certainly, for someone of Tindall's influence, we would."
"He's a key decision maker in whichever side he plays, whether that be England or Gloucester. So, we'll leave it as long as possible before we have to make that call."
"But, we're not going to take risks with people going into this game when we look at the magnitude of the Guinness Premiership games to come."
Having skippered Gloucester against the Barbarians last week, Nick Wood once again wore the captain's armband on Monday evening as Gloucester United kicked off their Aviva Premiership A League campaign with a bonus point win at Leicester.
Gloucester recorded a 32-20 win over La Rochelle on Thursday evening, and second row Jeremy Thrush was thrilled to pick up the victory on his first taste of a trip to France and the hostile atmosphere.
Gloucester were forced to battle for their 33-20 victory in La Rochelle on Thursday evening, something that centre Bill Meakes said that he and the squad were well prepared for as well as thanking the travelling support for the part they played.
Gloucester got off to a winning start in the European Rugby Challenge Cup last weekend, but Head Coach Laurie Fisher is expecting a much tougher challenge when the Cherry and Whites travel to La Rochelle for Thursday night's Round Two encounter.
Dan Thomas was a try scorer in the 14-62 defeat at the hands of the Barbarians on Tuesday evening, but told GRTV after the game that he'd really enjoyed taking on the Barbarians and locking horns with Ardie Savea at the breakdown.
After a long, hard battle to return to fitness, Henry Trinder made his long awaited comeback in the second half of the 23-10 win over Zebre on Saturday and admitted he was taken aback by the reception he got from the Kingsholm crowd.
Gloucester United kick off their Aviva Premiership A League campaign against Leicester Tigers at Welford Road on Monday evening (kick off 7pm) and have named a side which features lots of first team experience.