Hurting Gloucester Rugby are looking to give a true account of themselves this weekend against Wasps after defeat in their opening game of the 2020/21 Gallagher Premiership season, says head coach George Skivington.
An error strewn Cherry and Whites were beaten 38-15 away at Leicester Tigers on Saturday while their Round Two opponents Wasps came back to beat Bristol Bears 23-20 with a late try.
Speaking ahead of the first game of the new season at Kingsholm, Skivington said: “Everyone has been very honest. It hurts.
“It is not how you want to start the season but you get yourself back up and work extremely hard to correct the errors.
“Our pride is dented but that is the game and you have to act quickly and get on with the job.
“We have trained hard today, we will train hard for the rest of the week and the boys and coaches have all looked hard internally.
“We expect everyone to pick up and crack on but I don’t think that game was a fair reflection of us as a team. I think we have worked extremely hard anyway.
“Losing on the weekend doesn’t make us work harder this week, we want to build a team which turns up every week.
“We don’t want to be a team which just responds because we got a kicking, we want to be consistent throughout the year.”
Wasps reached the Gallagher Premiership final just over a month ago, narrowly losing to 19-13 to Exeter Chiefs at Twickenham.
They have certainly earned the respect of Skivington who played more than a hundred games for the club in the 2000s.
He said: “Wasps are a great team and they are playing extremely well. They had every right to get to the final last season and they were very nearly the champions.
“It is a massive challenge this weekend, they are a team where it all seems to come together nicely and they have not got any real obvious weaknesses.
“It is an exciting challenge for us. We have had a slap last week and we have to shake it off now and we get to play one of the best teams in the country.”
Gloucester lost captain Lewis Ludlow to a nasty looking head injury at Welford Road last weekend, but Skivington reports the flanker is responding well to the return to play concussion protocols, although he was unsure whether he will be able to feature in Round Two.
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Wasps come to Kingsholm light of two of their star men from the weekend with fly-half Jacob Umaga and backrower Brad Shields both ruled out with injuries.
Umaga hurt himself training with England in midweek while number eight Shields left the field after 29 minutes in the victory over Bristol.
Wasps trio Joe Launchbury, Dan Robson and Jack Willis were all selected by Eddie Jones for England’s third Autumn Nations Cup game and, as it stands, Wasps are not expecting any of them to return in time for the Gloucester game.
Meanwhile Gloucester are missing Jonny May [England], Chris Harris [Scotland], Stephen Varney [Italy] and Louis Rees-Zammit [Wales] on international duty.