Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Davies warns of Saracens threat

Nigel Davies believes Saracens will be smarting from last week's defeat

Gloucester boss Nigel Davies is wary of a possible Saracens backlash in Sunday's Aviva Premiership encounter at Vicarage Road.

Saracens missed a chance to claim top spot in the Premiership last week after they lost 12-3 against Worcester on the same night that current leaders Harlequins were beaten by Bath.

"I'm sure Saracens won't have been impressed with their performance, or their result, against Worcester and they will pick it up against us this weekend," Davies said.

"It (Vicarage Road) is a difficult place to go and play. It's one of the smallest pitches in the league and they know how to play that field.

"You have to be smart. You have to play a similar game to them in some ways, but you also have to be prepared to step up and take your game to them.

"They play good territory, they have a big chase and put a lot of pressure on to you. If you're not ready for it, then you will get caught out."

Gloucester will be without fly-half Freddie Burns, the Premiership's top points-scorer this season, due to England commitments at Twickenham, so Billy Twelvetrees switches from centre.

Tim Molenaar partners Mike Tindall in midfield, with Martyn Thomas replacing wing Shane Monahan. Up-front, there is a recall for hooker Darren Dawidiuk, who has not started a game since late September.

Saracens, beaten only once at Vicarage Road in their last 17 Premiership fixtures, will be without rested international forwards Schalk Brits and Kelly Brown.

But skipper Steve Borthwick makes his 100th appearance for the club, while fly-half Charlie Hodgson starts after four weeks out recovering from a fractured cheekbone and prop Rhys Gill also features following a rib injury.

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