Gloucester Rugby host Sale Sharks at Kingsholm this Saturday and head of the fixture Head Coach George Skivington faced the media to preview the game.
On Sale Sharks
“Sale are a massively physical team. I thought they had a great season last season. They’ve recruited well and they’ve got some big men who run extremely hard and hit hard. Faf de Klerk is a danger man and Marland Yarde is scoring tries for fun. They’ve got a very good game. Their kicking game is good, their set piece is good and like I said, they’ve got a few guys who can turn it on a sixpence.
“We’re very aware of their threats and they were unlucky at the back end of last year where they didn’t get to follow through on what they’d done all season so I’m sure they’re extremely hungry to get the opportunity this year.”
Sales’ threats at the breakdown
“Both the Curry brothers are outstanding players and they are obviously good around the breakdown and have loads of energy and are great players. There’s a couple of other guys and they do like to slow the ball down and we’re aware of that so we’ve just got to be quick at the breakdown and try and get quick ball. We want to play positive rugby and get the ball moving and that’s an area we’ll have to deal with on the day.”
Gloucester Rugby’s progression
“Our set piece has been a real strength the past few weeks and I think that’s growing nicely. I think the attacking game is still there. I think we’ve managed the game a little bit better but occasionally we’ve tried to manage the game too well and slowed it down to try and make a decision as opposed to just playing.
“There’s still a way to go but I think there’s been some good steps forward in certain areas.”
Jake Polledri being awarded Italy’s player of the year
“I think it’s really important for Jake. He was on a real good upward trend and obviously doing some great stuff for us and he started doing that for Italy as well with a couple of monumental performances. A twist of fate and some real bad luck and he’s picked up a severe injury.
“He’s got a long road to recovery but he’s a really positive guy and has great care here with our physio department. He’s very positive but a bit of recognition will be nice for him on a private level to remember how good he was doing.”
Exeter Chiefs being part of the Queen's New Year honours
“It’s great. Fair play to Exeter, we all know what they’ve done in recent times and they deserve a mention. I think it’s great for rugby because with the pandemic as it is, it’s killing a lot of industries and we all want rugby to survive and kick on and get back to where it was and be even stronger in the future.
“I think for rugby to be getting the recognition it deserves is brilliant and the more of that the better.”