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Billy Twelvetrees calls for cool heads from Gloucester Rugby

Billy Twelvetrees has urged his Gloucester Rugby team-mates to forget Saracens’ "freak" result at Wasps and concentrate on their own game as they prepare to face the Aviva Premiership Rugby league-leaders and reigning champions at Allianz Park on Saturday. 

Saracens, unbeaten at home all season, saw that run ended emphatically by Wasps 64-23 last weekend with Charles Piutau, Elliot Daly and Nathan Hughes running riot.

Twelvetrees’ Gloucester carried the momentum from a tense west country derby victory over Bath Rugby into a dominant 28-6 triumph against Harlequins and are seeking a third consecutive win for the first time since 2012.

Although they are without an away win at Saracens since 2008, they will take solace in having beaten Mark McCall’s side 24-23 last season at Kingsholm.

And Twelvetrees insists Saracens are there to be beaten if his Gloucester team-mates turn up in the right frame of mind.

“To win at home against Quins was massive for us, getting that momentum going for the champions this Saturday is very important,” the centre said. 

“We are fully aware of how good they are. Last week was a bit of a freak for them and they are going to be raring to go from that.

“As soon as kick-off comes it is about who focuses more on the day. We haven’t won down there yet, so it is massive for us to go down there, get off to a great start and impose ourselves.

“We had them at home at the start of the year and didn’t get the result we wanted so we’re looking forward to going and hopefully getting the win.

“We have to be accurate with ball-in-hand and defensively we have to be on top of them too. We are looking forward to a big battle. It is always tough going down there.

“They are a top side, they are top of the Premiership for a reason and they have been for the last couple of years.” 

Gloucester, without the same volume of international absentees as Saracens, have hit their straps in recent weeks and are still able to boast the likes of James Hook, Ben Morgan, Richard Hibbard and John Afoa.

Twelvetrees insists the major upturn in form has been a consequence of minor adjustments.

“It is just the little things, we’re all on the same page, we all know what we’re doing in terms of our structures in attack and defence,” he added.

“Against Bath we were under the pump for the first 15 or 20 minutes, but we stayed relax and knew what we had to do. Last week we controlled from the start.

“It’s about trusting each other. Collectively, it has come on really well this year and we are fully confident in what we’re doing without the ball and with it.”

Gloucester announced in mid-week that vice-chairman Martin St Quinton had increased his stake in the club to 100 per cent.

And Twelvetrees is happy that continuity off-the-field will provide a platform for on-field success.

“Everyone knows what we’re about as players and everyone knows what the owner is about, so I don’t think much will change from a player’s point of view,” he said.

“I don’t think we need to worry about that, we just need to worry about fronting up at the weekends and playing as well as we can.”

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