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Mark Lambert expects tough Gloucester Rugby test

Mark Lambert has played Aviva Premiership Rugby for 13 years, so he knows better than most how tough it is going to be for Harlequins when they visit Gloucester Rugby on Saturday.

The prop has spent his entire career in south west London, helping them win the 2012 title, and amassing more than 200 appearances.

Harlequins have struggled on the road all season, winning just once – however that came last month at Bristol Rugby, in a sure sign that things are improving.

Although Gloucester Rugby sit ninth in the table, they have beaten defending champions Saracens and Wasps at Kingsholm this season.

And Lambert is adamant that Saturday’s match is going to test Quins to the full.

“It doesn’t cross your mind when you go down to Kingsholm that Gloucester will be anything other than incredibly tough,” he said.

“They have been a quality outfit for many years even though they have potentially had their own inconsistency issues.

“If you go down to Kingsholm with anything other than a huge amount of respect for Gloucester then you have got the wrong frame of mind.

“It is a very traditional rugby ground, it is a place I enjoy playing at for those reasons. It is an iconic ground with passionate fans and it will be a tough game.

“They are doing very well there at the moment, they have beaten Saracens, they are to be respected.”

In contrast to Quins’ away form, at the Stoop they have excelled with only one loss there in the league all season.

And, although easier said than done, Lambert thinks they are much closer than people think to becoming a force on the road.

“If we can turn those 50 or 60 minutes in games into 70 or 80 minutes then we are confident we can challenge anyone,” he added.

“It has been a stark difference between our home form and our away form this season, but if you look at the league, a lot of people have brilliant home records, but are struggling away.

“Sometimes you just go through those spells, the truth of the matter is that if we had just been able to last the final 15 or 20 minutes against Bath then we would have had a very good chance of winning at the Rec.

“We have had opportunities in other games as well, it is more worrying about linking everything together and finding that consistent 80-minute performance whether it is home or away.”

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