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'It is a South African trait': Gloucester on high alert ahead of Sharks clash

SPOTLIGHT: Gloucester Director of Rugby George Skivington said there is no escaping the huge physical battle that his team will encounter in the Challenge Cup Final


The Premiership club will face the Sharks at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London on Friday.

The Sharks will be without Lukhanyo Am and Jaden Hendrikse for the Final, but there are still a few other World Cup winners that will have the Premiership side on high alert.

“They have got a lot of high-profile players, a lot of guys who can do things out of nowhere, which goes from backline players to [Eben] Etzebeth in the second row and World Cup-winning front row,” Skivington told Gloucestershire Live.

“They have got a lot of guys who can change a game in a moment, and we have to be ready for that.

“They are a big opposition with lots of household names. Like us, their league campaign hasn’t gone to plan, so both teams have a lot to play for.


“There is no getting away from the physicality with the Sharks.

“Guys like Etzebeth are very big, powerful men, and if you are not ready for that physical battle it is going to be a long day.

“We pride ourselves on our set-piece and we work really hard on it, and so do they.

“It is a South African trait to have a very strong set-piece, so I expect that to be a very competitive area of the game.”


Gloucester finished second-last in this season’s Premiership, but Skivington believes his team has been on an upward trajectory over the last few months.

“Ultimately, we are in a final – it’s why players do what they do,” he said.

“The objective is to bring silverware to Gloucester.

“Our game’s been building nicely over the months. I think we know where we are good and where we are very good when we get it right, and where bits have cost us in some games.

“But if we focus and commit, we tend to be pretty accurate.

“There’s no point in changing too much this week. It’s more about hammering down on what we are good at.

“You’ve just got to throw everything at it and what comes of it, comes.”

Source: Gloucestershire Live & @ChallengeCup_

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