TOP BAR - Fixtures

Purdy wants repeat performance from Gloucester

They may be a single game away from a first European title since 2006, but Henry Purdy insists Gloucester Rugby are determined to prove their semi-final success was not a one-off when they return to Aviva Premiership Rugby duty.

The Cherry & Whites produced a powerful three-try display to down high-flying Exeter Chiefs in the European Rugby Challenge Cup final four last weekend, Billy Meakes, Tom Savage and Jonny May grabbing the tries.

It is the notable high point of a season that has fluctuated on an almost week-by-week basis at Kingsholm – Gloucester have recorded seven victories and a draw from their 19 league games to date.

And with attentions back on Aviva Premiership Rugby ahead of Saturday’s shootout with Newcastle Falcons, Purdy admits his side are focused on maintaining the momentum that has often eluded them this campaign.

“In the Premiership things haven’t all gone as we would have hoped – there have been some good and bad moments – so we had spoken before the game about showing passion and desire,” he said.

“It was a massive occasion and we put in an 80-minute performance. We know that when we are on top of our game we can beat those top sides and compete at the top level.

“But it’s about doing that every week and replicating the performances week in, week out when stakes aren’t quite as high as knockout rugby.

“We are intent on being a team that come out feeling 100 per cent in every game, whether it’s home or away, knockout rugby or a league game. It’s about instilling that belief.”

David Humphreys’ men are without a win in their last four league games, having fallen to an agonising 29-26 defeat at Harlequins in round 18.

But there have been some eye-opening performances in recent weeks – including a thrilling 33-33 with Aviva Premiership Rugby champions Northampton Saints – and Purdy believes there is a palpable sense of optimism in the West Country.

“There is a good vibe around the place, things are really coming together at the moment,” the 20-year-old added.

"That was shown by the amazing atmosphere at Kingsholm for the Challenge Cup semi – we know how important it is.

“But however we went in the semi-final and however the final goes, I feel things are gelling well and the belief here is growing."

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