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“We’ll see the best of Saracens”-Gloucester boss Skivington looks ahead to clash with defending champions

Gloucester Director of Rugby George Skivington believes his team will face ‘the best of Saracens’ this weekend, after the reigning champions slump in form.

Since Saracens steamrollered past Harlequins, they have lost two on the spin and conceded a whopping 86 points. To make matters worse, they have also been knocked out of the Champions Cup.

This will leave the defending champions hurting, and Skivington knows him team face a tough challenge this weekend.

“I think we’ll see the absolute best of Saracens this weekend, with their last couple of games. They’ve had a week off to get ready for this and you’ve got names in there who are playing out their last couple of months in the Saracens jersey. We’re definitely not underestimating all those pieces coming together.”

He added: “We know there’s a massive threat this weekend, of course, but it’s always a tough place to go and the team we take up there are well aware of that.”

This fixture with Saracens mark the start of an important block for Skivington’s men. The week after they host West Country rivals Exeter Chiefs before a Challenge Cup semi-final against Benetton.

George Skivington on Gloucester run-in

Gloucester Director of Rugby George Skivington-Credit: IMAGO

Gloucester Director of Rugby George Skivington-Credit: IMAGO

Whilst Saracens might be on a downward turn, the Cherry and Whites are in something of a purple patch. Skivington’s men lifted the Premiership Cup back in March, and since then have also secured a spot in the Challenge Cup semi-finals with wins over Castres and the Ospreys.

This rise might be too late in the day to guide Gloucester to the play-offs, however Skivington insisted his team can still lay down some building blocks in these next four games.

“I think they’re important in their own right,” he said. “I think there’s a lot to think about in these last four Premiership games for us and there’s a semi-final in two weeks.”

He added: “There’s a few players within the squad I would like to see in the Premiership before the end of the season, to know what they’re capable of or what they need to work over in the summer. There’s quite a lot in the air to pull a selection together to make sure I tick the right boxes for what we can achieve for the start of next season.

“The one thing that isn’t realistic is that we can’t win the Premiership or anything, so that’s not to be dressed up, but there is a lot still to play for and the boys know that and the coaching staff know that. We need to know at the end of the Premiership where everybody stands and make sure we get it right.”