Leicester Tigers will present a big challenge to Gloucester Rugby’s top-six Aviva Premiership Rugby credentials and lock Jeremy Thrush knows this weekend at Kingsholm will tell his side a lot.
The Cherry & Whites were the only side to conclude the pool phase of the European Challenge Cup winning all six games and are unbeaten at home in all competitions since November.
But they’ve only beaten the Tigers – who currently sit second in the table – once in their last five meetings.
David Humphreys’ side are currently seventh in the table but only two points off the top six and Thrush is excited to see what threat the Tigers will bring.
“This is a big month for the club and it will show us where we are at. We know where we want to be and a run of hard games like this is exactly what we need and hopefully it will bring out our best,” said the former Hurricane.
“When you look at Leicester and how they play with Aaron (Mauger) there now I guess you could say there are some similarities to the way teams play back home.
“They play with bit of width and look to stress the defence so we know that our defence will have to be right up there.
“They have been doing really well this season.
“Every game this year is exciting for me, it’s all a new experience and this is a big game.
“But to be honest every time I am out there I am playing someone different, a whole new ball game and that is the most exciting thing for me – I don’t get too worked up on who we are playing.”
Leicester Tigers only defeat in the last five rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby came on a visit to Saracens on 2 January.
Tigers have lost their last two away games in all tournaments but have not lost three in a row on the road since
October 2014 and Dom Barrow is hoping to put that right at Kingsholm on Saturday.
“Kingsholm is always a very tough place to go. The crowd give Gloucester fantastic support and are a great help to them. It’s a very exciting place to play as a rugby player,” he said.
“We’ll expect to go there and have to battle for everything because as a team they do the basics very well.
“We need to start well, get on the front foot and go well up front.
“Against Stade last week there were a few defensive inaccuracies and that cost us. We’ll need to tie those up this weekend and that’s what we’ve been working on in training.
“We drove well and contested as a pack but in the second quarter especially, we didn’t manage the game very well.
“We’ll iron out our defensive struggles and we try to improve every week so we’ve got every chance of doing that.”
Referee: JP Doyle (104th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Ross Campbell & Nigel Carrick. TMO: Graham Hughes.