Complacency the devil Gloucester must avoid at all costs, calls Nigel Davies
COMPLACENCY will not bedevil Gloucester again, pledges Nigel Davies.
The Gloucester boss has told his side to disregard any expectation of victory against Mont de Marsan at Kingsholm tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).
Davies’ men will secure a home quarter-final in the Amlin Challenge Cup with victory over the French Top 14 strugglers tomorrow.
But after the January 5 London Irish debacle, where insipid Gloucester slipped up 18-12 in a dismal Premiership showing, rugby director Davies admits his side must not take anything for granted.
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The former Wales centre explained: “Whatever anyone else has said about them, we’ve got to be ready for a seriously tough contest.
“We didn’t prepare ourselves for that against London Irish – and we paid the price.
“We won’t make the same mistake again.”
Davies fields the bulk of the team that edged past Bordeaux 31-26 at Stade Andre Moga last weekend, with fit-again Henry Trinder and Jonny May continuing in the backline.
Martyn Thomas slots in for Rob Cook, with Koree Britton stepping in for Darren Dawidiuk at hooker.
Shaun Knight starts at tighthead prop, while Tom Savage comes into the back-row at blindside, with Ben Morgan rested and Sione Kalamafoni moving round to number eight.
Still searching for attacking fluency, Davies confirmed he wants his players to keep pushing their front-foot approach.
He continued: “We’ve seen enough evidence that we’re not that far away.
“We have to be mindful of where we are, appreciate what we’ve got as a team right now, which is very important and the dog that everyone talks about is certainly there.
“Everybody here is working hard to add that extra dimension to our game.
“Overall we’re still moving in the right direction, but we never really got up to speed out in France.
“We got the result though and that was vital.
“And now we’re desperate to get completely back on track this weekend.
“We are underpinning what we’re doing with something solid, and we need to sustain and even improve that – but at the same time we do want to start playing some more rugby, and build on what we’ve achieved so far.
“So we’re still looking to move to the next stage of our development.”
GLOUCESTER: Martyn Thomas, Charlie Sharples, Henry Trinder, Tim Molenaar, Jonny May, Freddie Burns, Dan Robson, Nick Wood, Koree Britton, Shaun Knight, Jim Hamilton (capt), Will James, Tom Savage, Akapusi Qera, Sione Kalamafoni. Replacements: Huia Edmonds, Dan Murphy, Dario Chistolini, Pete Buxton, Gareth Evans, Dave Lewis, Billy Twelvetrees, Shane Monahan.