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Premiership Rugby

Pressure on Sharks in top-of-the-table clash

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

Bryan Redpath, Sharks' experienced international skipper, said: "This is a huge game for our players because Gloucester aren't at the top of the table by chance. They are there on merit and have already won the Powergen Cup this season.

"They have always been able to field a formidable pack and present a very physical challenge but they have now grafted on a very dangerous set of backs.

"We had been going well in recent league outings until last week when we were beaten at Welford Road by Leicester. It was very disappointing to come away from there with nothing but we have to put that behind us.

"We have a hard run in to the end of the season but I believe we are better equipped to cope with that sort of pressure than we were 12 months ago."

Sharks' coach, Jim Mallinder, said: "We are really looking forward to what is a massive challenge and are really impressed with the way Gloucester are playing.

"They have certainly moved from being a 10-man, forward-dominated side, to being a team that plays fast, expansive rugby.

"The pitch should be perfect for hard, fast rugby and that should suit both sides."

The Sharks have named a 22-strong squad with the line-up unlikely to be much different, if at all, from the one that started the game against Leicester.

The one notable change is the return from injury of prop Barry Stewart.

Sharks (squad): Vaughan Going, Jason Robinson, Mark Cueto, Steve Hanley, Graeme Bond, Dan Harris, Jos Baxendell, Nick Walshe, Bryan Redpath (captain), Jim Thorp, Kevin Yates, Stuart Turner, Barry Stewart, Charl Marais, Andy Titterrell, Chris Jones, Dean Schofield, Iain Fullarton, Stuart Pinkerton, Pete Anglesea, Phil Davies, Magnus Lund.

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