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Wilson relishing Gloucester showdown

28th March 2017

Danny Wilson is licking his lips at the prospect of playing knock-out rugby, as his side prepare to travel to Kingsholm on Saturday to face Gloucester Rugby in the European Challenge Cup quarter-final.

Wales' Capital Region won five out of six matches in the group stages of this year's competition, brushing off the likes of Bath and Bristol on their way to qualify for the latter stages.

Wilson insists these are the type of games everyone at the region is keen to be involved in, and is is aware of the intimidating atmosphere his side will face at Kingsholm.

“The goal now for everyone concerned is an European trophy. If we were fortunate enough to get near that and challenge for it, it would be a great achievement for this group,” said Wilson.

“But, we know there is no tougher game than going to a packed Kingsholm on a Saturday night to play a Gloucester side that are impressive, especially at home. 

“These are the games you want to be in as a coach and a group of players and we've got that opportunity on Saturday night. 

“Gloucester are a side that have won the competition and have experience of being in these latter stages. These knock-out rugby are the exiting games and we've prepared for it in that way and we'll continue to do so for the rest of the week.

“Two sides from either side of the bridge makes for an exciting encounter. I think everyone knows how their home venue is a proud venue for them.

“We've been far better on the road, picking up some win and running the likes of Leinster close. Our away form has been better and I hope we can show our supporters how assionate we are to get an away win in a big European fixture.”

Gloucester currently sit in eighth place in the Aviva Premiership table, and boast a formidable pack including experienced internationals such as John Afoa, Richard Hibbard, Ben Morgan and Ross Moriarty.

Wilson expects a tough challenge for his attack as they’ll attempt to break down a stern Cherries and Whites defence, but has also pinpointed Gloucester’s electric wide-men as a potential danger on Saturday night.

Wilson said: “Their defence is something they've built their game on at the moment, and credit goes for the way they've executed that and the way they've been coached. They've got an aggressive line speed which puts you under pressure on a pitch that isn't at its best. 

“Their kicking game and their defence is a big part of what they bring. They’ve got a good set piece, like most Aviva Premiership teams, and I think what we've seen over the past few weeks is that they are playing a bit more rugby, offloading a bit more, and that makes them dangerous with the likes of [Charlie] Sharples and [Jonny] May and giving us a lot to deal with. 

“We've got our own strikeforce, and our own game, and you've seen how dangerous we can be off turnovers over the weekend."