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Winning every game is the priority now, insists boss Davies

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: April 05, 2014

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Nigel Davies has challenged his Gloucester side to finish their season with a double.

While they face London Wasps in the last eight of the Amlin Challenge Cup tomorrow, they are also fighting for their European future in the Premiership.

They currently trail Dai Young's side by three points, with seventh highly likely to lead to a play-off for the top-tier of next season's European structure.

Gloucester could be forgiven for prioritising domestic competition, after all booking their place in the new equivalent of the Heineken Cup would see them reap far greater financial rewards.

But boss Davies insists every match in the remainder of a rollercoaster season is equally important and he has urged his side to complete a hat-trick of consecutive wins.

He said: "There's an opportunity to do both but you just can't prioritise, particularly when you get to this end of the season.

"A couple of months ago people would have thought at this stage of the season we wouldn't have much to play for. But there is everything on it and every game we play is important.

"The knockout competition is what it is and we're delighted to have got to this stage but now we want to progress.

"In the league we have a lot to play for and the last two results have put us right back in the mix.

"Winning every game is the priority. We can see what's left now, it's not a big season in front of us, there's four games left in the league and potentially three in the cup.

"We can't prioritise one over the other – it is a case of targeting every game."

Davies has made three changes to the side that escaped with a one-point win from Sandy Park with Billy Twelvetrees handed the number ten jersey in the place of Ryan Mills, who has failed to recover from a knee injury, and Freddie Burns once again left on the bench.

Darren Dawidiuk also misses out, due to the arm injury he suffered against the Chiefs, while James Hudson is preferred to Will James in the engine room. Gloucester have however, been boosted by the availability of tight-head prop Shaun Knight, who suffered a stinger at Sandy Park.

Davies said: "Our scrum was excellent last week. It's come on leaps and bounds and it was a major factor in our performance, to have Shaun, who was a cornerstone at tight head, available is important.

"We've tried to keep the bulk of the side that went to Exeter and put in such a good performance. We have a few injuries and have looked at a few things. Freddie came on and did very well last week and we're looking to do the same with him, he can come on make an impact and put himself in the frame for next week.

"But Billy's played there a lot over the last couple of years and when he does we invariably play well."

Meanwhile, Wasps welcome back England duo England internationals Joe Launchbury and Matt Mullan after being rested last week as part of the EPS agreement.

James Short and Will Helu also come back into the starting line-up.

Gloucester, away to Wasps, tomorrow: Rob Cook; Charlie Sharples, Henry Trinder, Mike Tindall, Jonny May; Billy Twelvetrees (capt), Jimmy Cowan; Nick Wood, Dan George, Shaun Knight; Elliott Stooke, James Hudson; Sione Kalamafoni, Matt Kvesic, Ben Morgan. Replacements: Huia Edmonds, Yann Thomas, Sila Puafisi, Will James, Gareth Evans, Tavis Knoyle, Freddie Burns, Martyn Thomas.

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