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George Skivington has vowed that Gloucester will “rip into it and see what happens” in their quest for a Gallagher Premiership play-off place on Saturday.
It is a tall order for the west country club, with odds stacked against them in terms of securing a top-four finish.
Not only must they beat high-flying Saracens at Kingsholm, Gloucester also need play-off rivals Northampton to lose at home against Newcastle.
💬 "I believe in this group and I keep on genuinely believing it could do whatever it wants to do."
— Gloucester Rugby (@gloucesterrugby) May 24, 2022
If Saints win, then Gloucester’s result is irrelevant, as Northampton would join Saracens, Leicester and Harlequins in the June 11 semi-finals.
Skivington, who recently signed a new long-term contract as head coach, has transformed Gloucester into play-off challengers following an 11th-place finish last season.
“There is no point in saying it is just another game,” Skivington said.
“Everyone knows the permutations, and when you start pre-season you start out wanting to have a shot at being in the play-offs.
“We have got one game left, and we have got a small shot at the play-offs. We need a few things to fall our way, but there is a shot for us.”
Saracens crushed Gloucester 44-15, scoring five tries, in a European Challenge Cup quarter-final victory just over three weeks ago.
Skivington added: “It’s important for us that we deliver a good performance.
“Saracens are very good, very accomplished and very used to this end of the season and having to compete and turn it on. We will rip into it and see what happens.”
Gloucester are two points behind Northampton, while in addition to a European last-eight spot, they were also Premiership Rugby Cup semi-finalists this term.
It is in stark contrast to the 2020-21 league campaign, when Gloucester only finished above Worcester and were 26 points adrift of the play-off zone.
“You set out every season to win as many games as you can and be as good as you can be,” Skivington said.
“My objective is to get this club back at the right end of the table consistently year after year, and try and put ourselves in a position to win some trophies.
George Skivington's signed up for the long haul with @gloucesterrugby 💪
How much has he improved the club since joining? 🍒#GallagherPrem
— Premiership Rugby (@premrugby) May 24, 2022
“But I am also fully aware of how much work there is to do and how much we have got to improve as a unit to do that.
“It’s easy to talk it, but it’s very difficult to actually deliver that.
“We have taken some good steps this year, but there is a load more work to be done.
“I think we have moved in the right direction. I am very positive about the group we have got.
“We are certainly better than we were last year – that was always the first objective – and I want us to be better next year than we are this year.”