Gloucester Rugby host Northampton Saints for the Round of 16 in the Challenge Cup on Saturday. Ahead of the fixture, Head Coach George Skivington sat down to talk all things European rugby.
On the Dragons win
“The boys had to dig deep. Newport came out really hard in the first half and we were a little bit off. We had a bit of reflection at half time and we said we’d get back to what we’re good at and the boys showed some real strength and character I thought.”
On the fans
“Our travelling support was outstanding down there. It was a great atmosphere actually and the Dragons had some real bite in their support as well. It was a good, hostile environment. I really enjoyed hearing our fans singing and I thought it was great.
“It was a gritty place to go and we found ourselves conceding a try just before half time and we found ourselves in a bit of a hole. Was it a pretty game? No, not at all. Did we find a way to win? Yes. The character shown in the changing room, I was really impressed with, the way they came out in the second half and represented the club, I was very proud.”
On getting the rust off with a win
“A couple of weeks ago against Wasps was a bit of an anomaly. The boys have trained really hard the last couple of weeks, and we were obviously really disappointed with the Wasps result. We were quite honest about it, and we feel we got what we deserved there.
“We got some good training in last week and had a good hit out against Newport. We know Saints are a massive threat and they’re a really good side. It’s only a couple of weeks since we played them here and it was a really good game. Two teams going at each other, and I think that will be the case again on Saturday.”
On knock-out rugby
“If you win you get some more rugby and if you lose, then you don’t. We didn’t produce our best last time we were here and that’s important to us whatever team we’re playing. We want to put our best foot forward on Saturday. We know Saints well and it was a tough and tight encounter last time and I expect it to be fast and furious here on Saturday night.”
On selection for Saturday
“We’re got plenty of lads ready for Saturday. It’s a game everyone wants to be involved in and we’ve had some great performances from our young lads. Harry Taylor jumping in, playing against Newport, he was outstanding and had the highest work rate of any player out there. It could have been Lewis Ludlow in disguise!
“A lot of lads have put their hands up and a lot of lads have been given opportunities and taken them.”
On being back at Kingsholm
“We haven’t played here that much in the last few months and it’s very special and the boys get very excited. We always want to turn up and put a good show on and represent the badge as best we can. It’ll be nice to be back at Kingsholm. The travelling support last week was unbelievable, but nothing beats playing here.”
Tickets for the knock-out game against Northampton are available here.