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Preview: Gloucester v Newcastle Falcons

Preview: Gloucester v Newcastle Falcons

Gloucester Rugby back Henry Purdy is targeting this weekend’s game against Newcastle Falcons at Kingsholm to propel his team into contention for a top-four spot.

The Falcons are currently soaring having only lost one of their last five in all tournaments, and that was by a single point away at Wasps earlier this month.

However Gloucester's only defeat at Kingsholm in any tournament since October was also by a one point margin against Leicester Tigers at the end of January and Purdy is confident his side can do the business this weekend.

“It is such a cliché taking it one game at a time but that is what it is – that’s all you can focus on really,” Purdy said.

“Hopefully we can do a job on Newcastle, we’re definitely targeting a victory.

“If we got aspirations to be a top-six or a top-four team in the next few years then it’s the sort of game you need to be taking bonus points from at home.

“The next two games are massive and this is the period of the season where the table starts to shape up as the way forward towards the end of the season becomes apparent.

“Hopefully I get a little run-out and we’ll be flying.”

Newcastle Falcons have turned Kingston Park into a fortress since the New Year, beating Northampton Saints and Leicester there in the last two weeks, but they are yet to win away in Aviva Premiership Rugby this season.

In fact, their only league away win since October 2013 came at London Welsh in October 2014, but
Scotland hooker Scott Lawson believes his side can buck the trend at Kingsholm.

“To chuck in an old cliché, when you go away from home you need to be better,” Lawson said.

“Home advantage counts, as we have seen ourselves at Kingston Park, and we have to be absolutely on top of our game at Kingsholm on Saturday.

“Working in our favour is the fact we go down there with massive confidence, we are performing well and we also know we can grind it out when we need to.”

Gloucester Rugby v Newcastle Falcons (Kingsholm, 3pm)
Referee: Dean Richards (86th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Roger Baileff & Paul Burton. TMO: Rowan Kitt.

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