Gloucester Rugby lock Tom Savage expects squad depth and tactical flexibility to play a critical role in their push for a top four spot in Aviva Premiership Rugby.
The Cherry and Whites had a positive February overall, with a loss against top-of-the-table Saracens at Allianz Park the month’s only blemish.
They face third-placed Wasps, who have won their last six league games, at the Kingsholm this weekend and Savage knows that means taking on a fearsome pack.
However, Gloucester come into the game off the back of a comfortable victory over Newcastle Falcons and have reason to be confident.
“Build on the positives that there were last week, try and work on some of the things that didn’t go so well,” said Savage. “If we manage to do that and up our effort areas in some aspects of the game, I think we’ll get there.
“The forward battles in the Premiership; it’s what wins the games week in week out. There aren’t many bad packs around, they’ve been going particularly well so it’s going to be a really good challenge.”
Gloucester have not beaten Wasps for three and a half years but Savage is keen to look forward rather than dwell on past failings, including last month’s disappointing result against Saracens.
And he believes their squad rotation in recent weeks serves the Cherry & Whites well heading into the business end of the season.
“You can’t be looking at game that was two or three weeks ago when you’re trying to look forward and trying to build on some good performances and some good things that have happened since then,” he continued.
“That wasn’t all negatives that day either. There were some real positives in there, our physicality; our work rate has been outstanding week in week out.
“The boys are putting their all in week in, week out and we know we’ve got the depth to be able to cope with that these days.
“That’s crucial; nobody can play 80 minutes in those ten games. The depth of the squad is crucial for this time of year.”
As for Wasps, who beat Saracens 64-23 at Allianz Park just last month, Savage insists his side are not daunted by the challenge.
“We’re always trying to play to the opportunities that present themselves,” he added. “You can over analyse thing like that; you’ve got to play what’s in front of you.
“The framework that we’re trying to put in place now is that there is an option for every team you come up against.”