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."
Tom Savage delivered a Man of the Match performance against Exeter Chiefs on his birthday on Saturday evening. He spoke to GRTV after the game about the importance of the European Rugby Challenge Cup win.
Speaking to the local media this week, John Afoa described the hard work that the Cherry and White have been putting in and that he is fighting fit ready for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final clash with Exeter Chiefs.
Gloucester Rugby face Exeter Chiefs this Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final, and Charlie Sharples, who starts at full back is relishing the challenge of the big Kingsholm occasion.
Gloucester meet the Exeter Chiefs for the fourth time in competitive action this weekend, this time in the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the local media this week that this is the sort of game that Gloucester want to be involved in on a regular basis and that he and his team are looking forward to it.
Following the 29-26 loss to Harlequins, club captain Billy Twelvetrees spoke of his disappointment that the Cherry and Whites were unable to cash in on the home side's indiscipline and lose a lead on Saturday afternoon.
Number eight Gareth Evans admitted to a collective feeling of frustration as Gloucester lost narrowly at Harlequins on Saturday, but insisted that there are plenty of positives to draw upon ahead of next Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter.
The Gloucester Rugby Ticket office can advise that the club's initial allocation of tickets for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final has sold out. However, the club has secured an additional allocation of tickets from EPCR which will go on sale on Monday.
Following Saturday evening's exciting European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final victory over Exeter Chiefs, the Ticket Office at Kingsholm will be open on Sunday from 11am to 3pm for Club Members to purchase tickets for the Final.
Gloucester Rugby qualified for their first European final since 2006 as they defeated the in-form Exeter Chiefs by 30 points to 19 in a thrilling semi-final at Kingsholm on Saturday evening. The club photographer caught the best of the action.
Recent meetings between these two teams have often been thrillers, and this was no exception. It went down to the final few minutes, but Gloucester produced the goods when it mattered to qualify for the European Rugby Challenge Cup Final, beating Exeter 30-19.