Ahead of Round 16 of the Gallagher Premiership, George Skivington spoke to the press to preview Gloucester Rugby’s upcoming fixture against Sale Sharks.
On Henry Trinder’s departure
“Henry’s been a great servant to the club. Obviously, I’ve only known him from my period here but everyone knows Henry across the league. When he was flying he did some unbelievable things. He had a bit of bad luck with injuries but he’s contributed massively around the place and he’s a loved character around here. Everyone wishes him well and hopefully he has some success in France.
“Hopefully he can go over to France, find a bit of form and enjoy a good few years over there.”
On the rest week
“We gave the players a week off so they had an opportunity to recharge. It’s been a pretty intense campaign and we obviously haven’t had any games called off for Covid or anything like that so it was just an opportunity to have a week off and refresh.
“They went away with training plans to stay on top of that and gave the coaches and staff an opportunity to have a little bit of time off but also reflect on where we’re at and look at how we push on.”
On Sale Sharks
“I think they’ve got a really good squad. They only just missed out on the play offs last year. They’ve got a good squad and they are very physical with a tough, work hard mentality. I think Alex Sanderson has come in and pushed them even more. They are third in the league for a reason. They are physical and smart with how they play and they use their strengths well. Marland Yarde is flying out wide as well as all their boys on the wing to be fair.
“I think they are a smart rugby team. They are resilient and tough and they stick together. I don’t think what happened in La Rochelle is a reflection of where they’re at. I think they’d do a few things differently just like we would if we played them again.”
On targets for the rest of the season
“We had a good discussion as a team yesterday about what we’d like to get out of the rest of the season. As a coaching group, we know what we’d like to see and who we’d like to see out there and how we’d like it to develop. The goals are very internal at the moment, they’re bits that we can measure ourselves internally.
“The growth for us is a little bit more accuracy in those key moments and just finishing off some of those opportunities that we’ve been creating over the last few weeks.”
“Louis Rees-Zammit has been training and with guys that are finely tuned there’s a risk factor if you like. He wasn’t bad before the game (against La Rochelle) but it was bad enough that we thought the right thing to do was to take him out and keep him fit. The race horses are wired a certain way and that’s why they are so good when they’re good. Zam has obviously been outstanding the last few months and he’s trained the last few days and he was in with the physios last week and he’s available for selection.
“Ollie Thorley is available now off the back of his suspension. We’ve got a couple of other lads who are back training. We’re on the brink of three or four lads returning to the squad which is really exciting. We’ve got to take them through their steps over the next couple of days and then it will be week by week decisions on when we think someone is ready.”