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Preview: Leicester Tigers v Gloucester Rugby

Preview: Leicester Tigers v Gloucester Rugby

Jordan Crane insists Leicester Tigers are champing at the bit to sink their teeth into Gloucester Rugby at Welford Road, as they bid to right the wrongs of last weekend.

Despite seeing their England Grand Slam winners return, Leicester Tigers went down to a 27-20 defeat at Sale Sharks on Sunday.

That defeat saw Leicester slip out of the top four and they head into this weekend’s clash a place and one point behind arch-rivals Northampton Saints with four Aviva Premiership Rugby rounds remaining.

Tigers’ last seven fixtures have all been won by the home side on the day and Crane is eager for that trend to continue this weekend to help get his side back on track for a semi-final berth.

"We’ve been trying to iron out what went wrong for us against Sale at the weekend but with the short turnaround time we need to make sure we freshen up our bodies too,” he said.

"Everybody is looking forward to Gloucester as it’s a good opportunity to get out there and put right the wrongs from Sale.

"We did do some good things against Sale and we are not a million miles away.

"Against Gloucester we’re going to have to be big up front but they have got some talented backs so it will be a difficult game – it’s one we have to win though."

The omens are looking good for Leicester to continue their impressive home form with their only defeat in 18 Aviva Premiership Rugby matches at Welford Road coming back on February 6 against – that side again – Sale Sharks.

What’s more, the Tigers’ only defeat in their last six encounters with Gloucester was a 16-33 reverse at Kingsholm in October 2014. while the Cherry & Whites have not won at Welford Road since October 2007.

Gloucester have also slipped to three successive defeats and have not lost four in a row in Aviva Premiership Rugby since November 2013.

If this is to change then Gloucester will do so without Charlie Sharples who will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, but the winger is backing his team-mates to turn the club’s around.

“It's been a tough few weeks and I couldn't watch the Bath game,” Sharples said in his column for the Gloucester Citizen.

“I hate losing to Bath especially at home and it takes the gloss off our win down there.

“We're all frustrated, the fans are frustrated but all the boys can do is keep working hard. There was no lack of effort against Bath.

“It is now a very tough run in, plus a European quarter-final, so we can't feel sorry for ourselves, we have a massive challenge and we have to keep going.

“The boys are disappointed but determined to take the positives, dig deep and rediscover some of the form and performances we have seen just a few weeks ago.”

Welford Road, 3.15pm – Live on BT Sport

Referee: JP Doyle (111th Premiership game).
Assistant Referees: Nigel Carrick & Paul Burton. TMO: David Grashoff.

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