TOP BAR - Fixtures

LV= Cup Preview: Gloucester Rugby v Harlequins

Gloucester Rugby wing Henry Purdy is looking forward to an entertaining game when Harlequins visit Kingsholm on Saturday in the final round of LV=Cup group games.

Last week’s 32-25 win over Ospreys leaves Gloucester in with a chance of qualifying for the semi-finals, though their fate lies in group leaders Saracens’ hands.

Quins’ LV= Cup hopes disappeared for another year after last week’s last-gasp defeat at home to Bath Rugby – Rory Jennings’ dramatic late penalty sealing a 23-21 win for the visitors.

Having kicked off their LV=Cup campaign with a defeat at Saracens, Quins had hoped November’s 31-21 home win against Newport Gwent Dragons could give them a chance of reaching the knock-out stages before that fatal setback last weekend.

Purdy, however, is aware of Quins’ customary cavalier style from their Aviva Premiership Rugby exploits and thinks the lack of pressure on the visitors could make them even more dangerous.

“Quins like to try and play a bit of good footy and we will relish the game,” he said. “Hopefully the boys will get their hands on the ball and play some good running rugby.

“They haven’t got much to play for but in that sense it releases the pressure on them and the Quins boys like to play some expansive rugby anyway.

“A few other results will have an impact on what happens to us but we can only focus on what we can do. We might have to wait and see what happens.”

Quins head coach Conor O’Shea was proud to be able to select a starting XV against Bath that included 12 former academy players, including their entire pack.

It is a tried and tested policy for the London side in this competition and saw them victorious two years ago, then-captain Luke Wallace lifting the trophy after a 32-14 win against Sale Sharks.

And even though their hopes of LV= Cup success have gone for this season, wing Charlie Walker also anticipates an entertaining game in front of the Shed.

“We have the chance to go out and express ourselves at Kingsholm now,” he said.

”It's a chance to have some fun, but also a chance for guys to prove a point. Any game that we play, regardless of the competition, we want to be competitive.

“Conor wants to see young guys showing that same competitiveness and then you can start putting your hand up to be selected in the first team.”

Tickets for this year's LV= Cup Final on 22 March at Franklin's Gardens are now on sale. Click here to snap one up from just £20 for adults, £10 for juniors to see who will win the first silverware of the season.

 

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