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“We’ve learned a huge amount”-George Skivington reflects on Gloucester’s Premiership campaign

Gloucester Director of Rugby George Skivington believes his team will learn from the mistakes of this season, as they prepare for another year outside of the top eight. 

The Cherry and Whites have done it tough this year. Injuries to key players like Adam Hastings and Val Rapava-Ruskin derailed their campaign, and a run of eight Premiership losses on the bounce all but removed them from Champions Cup contention.

Speaking to the media ahead of his side’s clash with Saracens, Skivington detailed him and his coaching staff will take plenty of lessons from this season to improve from: “We’ve learned a huge amount as a coaching group this season. There’s a few things we would deal with better.

He added: “I think the team has gone through the mill, seen really tough times and some really good times as well. So there’s a real good learning season for us without a doubt.

He also detailed he will look to blood some fresh faces in the final few games: “Before the end of the season, there’s some players I would like to see play in the premiership so that I’ve got an absolute understanding of everybody in the building in the toughest games.”

Gloucester face a tough run-in, with Saracens, Exeter Chiefs and Northampton all lying in wait before they conclude their campaign against Newcastle Falcons.

Skivington on Gloucester’s cup success

Gloucester lift Prem Cup

Gloucester lift Prem Cup-IMAGO

Whilst the Premiership season hasn’t gone according to plan for Skivington’s men, they have seen plenty of success in the cup competitions.

Gloucester lifted the Premiership Cup after a heroic 23-13 win over Leicester Tigers in the final, and they have also booked a Challenge Cup semi-final after good wins against Castres and Ospreys.

These cup successes have helped give a nice look to the Cherry and White’s season, but Skivington said their European success was more a piece of ‘good timing’ rather than changing their approach.

“I wouldn’t say it’s massively different, I’d say just more the timing of the season. We had six games in the Prem back to back that we lost, which was massively damaging to our Prem campaign; but it also meant we addressed a few issues.”

He added: “We refocused on things that we’ve traditionally been pretty good at and we’ve got a much fitter squad. There was a period where we didn’t have a healthy squad and a lot of those guys who are frontliners if you like weren’t available. In all honesty, this is probably more of a timing thing with the European Cup that has lined up with a sort of reset.

“The first game of the European Cup came at a time where, I don’t want to say I blew my lid but I was definitely fired up. I think we had some very clear things to go after and the boys went after them and they’ve continued on that and. Apart from Bristol at home, we’ve been pretty on it since that point and that just happens to have been a lot of the European games within that period.”

Gloucester’s success in Europe has set up a mouth-watering tie with Italian outfit Benetton at Kingsholm.