Gloucester Rugby host Benetton in the European Challenge Cup on Friday and ahead of the game head coach George Skivington previewed the fixture and also reflected on last week’s performance against Lyon.
“Initially we were gutted to lose. I think that was a good place to be with Lyon playing such a strong side and us giving opportunities to so many young players. Once we got over that and we evaluated what we actually got from the game, there was obviously the bonus point, which was brilliant, but there were some huge positives.
“I thought our scrum was outstanding. It was led by the senior lads in the front row but the young lads in the back five really took it to them. Jamal, Santi and Fraser, their approach and their mindset to it was as good as I’ve seen.
“There are lots of learnings for us. We weren’t quite as accurate as we would have liked to have been but overall, the intent and the commitment to the cause from the boys, and just seeing the stuff we’re working on transfer through was a real positive.”
On the young players causing selection headaches
“There’s a huge amount of time and energy spent on these players in the background. Trevor Woodman and Timmy Taylor are the link between the academy and the first team and they put hours into it. They are out there with us every day doing bits and pieces and there is a huge focus on bringing these guys through and building the future of the club around them.
“It’s good to see all of the investment and all of the time and energy put into them, it’s great to get some pay back for that and I just think it’s exciting what that core group of lads could potentially go on and do.”
“It’s a massive game because at the end of the day we’ve got one point in the competition. The context around that is very positive but it’s still only one point. We want more points and we want to be competitive. It’s a big game, we’ve prepared well this week and it’s exciting. We love coming back to Kingsholm and a nice big European fixture is great.”
On building momentum from the positives
“That’s what’s key. Whatever the result or whatever the outcome is, there is a good buzz and the boys understand what is expected of them and the level of commitment required if you want to be pushing for that first choice jersey.
“That just creates a good buzz because everybody has got to work hard. No matter what your name is or how many caps you’ve got, you’ve got to work hard to be in the team and generally speaking, that’s how you build a good environment.”
Tickets to our European clash against Benetton are still available here.