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Inconsistent Gloucester warned of 'slaughter' in Prem crunch match

By Chris Jones
George Skivington has warned his players what will happen if they are inconsistent against Leicester Tigers - PA

Gloucester boss George Skivington has warned his players they could get slaughtered by Premiership champions Leicester if they deliver another inconsistent performance in the Slater Cup contest at Kingsholm on Sunday.


Gloucester and Leicester are in the middle of the battle for play-off places and a bye in the last round gave Skivington time to mull over the 41-34 loss at Northampton. Gloucester were trailing 41-15 with just three minutes remaining when they scored three tries to dramatically change the final scoreline.

Skivington said: “There is a lot on the line in this game and Leicester are the champions and have some really big hitters on the field at the moment and if you have a wobble they are going to slaughter you. It’s about how we rip into this game.

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“Leicester are a little bit ahead of us in the table and playing really good rugby and we want to win to keep in the fight and they want to pull away.

“It is a dog fight and has been like that all year. Within that group of teams, we have all had really good and bad periods and you just bounce around. We are at the point now where one or two wins and you will pull away and it will go right through to the end of the season.

“You could end up in the playoffs or in the bottom four of the league. It makes our job really tough and will challenge every team and that is what you want. You want the pressure. We had a poor 25 minutes at Northampton that cost us but it was six tries each. We are not the polished article by any means.”

Skivington had an uncomfortable Christmas period after his side lost 28-13 at Leicester on December 24. That was the first fixture between Gloucester and Leicester for the Slater Cup, named after lock Ed Slater who played for both clubs before retiring in June 2022, following his diagnosis with Motor Neurone Disease. “There is a big hole in the squad where we expected Ed to be leading the charge this season,” added Skivington.


“He is ever present here and our aim is to represent Ed in the best possible way. We were disappointed to lose the first Slater Cup and he will be here on Sunday.”


Skivington had some good news for Scotland with outside half Adam Hastings on track to be fit before the end of the season to put himself in contention for a World Cup squad place. Hastings needed shoulder surgery after that Christmas Eve loss at Leicester.

Gloucester’s final two games are Sale at home on April 22 and Bristol Bears away on May 6 and Skivington said: “He is alright and on track and is disappointed how his season has gone after he started playing really well.


“He came back in an got injured right away so he really hasn’t played much rugby all season. He is very keen to be back on the field. The World Cup is on the horizon and he will be fresh when he comes back and we will see how quickly that is. Obviously, I would like to see him for a couple of games we just need to see how it pans out.”


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RUGBYPASS+ The major Six Nations concern for Wales and England ahead of RWC 2023 The major Six Nations concern for Wales and England ahead of RWC 2023