Gloucester Rugby: Don't get dazzled by daring Danny Cipriani
DANNY Cipriani and Sale's other stars must not dazzle Gloucester this weekend, calls Nigel Davies.
Kingsholm boss Davies believes most of the Sharks' power comes from their shining individual talents – who can change a game with one foul swoop.
And the Gloucester rugby director has warned his side not to give stellar talents like playmaker Cipriani time and space to work their magic in Saturday's Kingsholm clash (kick-off noon).
Sale lost their first seven Premiership games of the season, causing them to remove forwards coach Steve Scott.
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Bryan Redpath swapped Gloucester for Sale at the end of last term, but while he arrived at the Sharks as rugby director he has since had his role redefined as head coach.
Chief executive Steve Diamond is back in overall control of the club's coaching, and the Sharks won their first game with him back at the helm – a 21-9 home victory over London Irish.
Despite Sale's troubled start to the season, Davies said they have plenty of firepower – and has called on Gloucester to be wary of the visitors.
He explained: "We've viewed them over the last period really.
"There's certain cues in their game which haven't changed.
"Individuals probably have the biggest effect within their team.
"They have got a couple of high-quality individuals who can make something happen, and that's the big danger for us going into the game.
"Danny Cipriani seems to have been pretty central to their mini resurgence that's for sure, and if he's allowed space and time he's very influential and effective in games.
"The way the modern game is played it's pretty fluid, so at any particular time in the game he might pop up anywhere, and that's a big strength of him.
"If you do allow him time and space he can hurt sides, and he's certainly done that.
"And I think he's been quite instrumental in their little resurgence.
"If you look at Sale's squad they've got a great squad of players, and you have to respect that.
"They will be disappointed with where they are in the league and they will be looking to get back on track.
"So we know how important this game is.
"I'm not going to disrespect that Sale squad, I think it's a fantastic squad that's starting to build a bit of momentum themselves.
"But from our point of view if we want to remain a top four team then we have to prepare and turn up mentally in the right frame for every game we play.
"Sale have got huge potential and have shown glimpses of that, and they are a quality team in their own right.
"But the most important thing for us is to have the ambition to deliver a performance week in week out, and that's what sides that stay in the top four can do."
While all external eyes will be on former Scotland scrum-half Redpath's first return to Gloucester, Davies said the Cherry and Whites have plenty else to focus on.
He added: "It's got no relevance at all, we're just focused on playing Sale, that's the big thing for us, and that's as much as I want to say about it really.
"It's a big game for us, they will be desperate to win the game to get themselves back in the hunt, and we're desperate to win the game to stay in the top four.
"So that's what it's all about for us."