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Humphreys calm after record loss

Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys called for patience after his rebuilt side were mauled by ruthless Northampton at Franklin's Gardens.

A squad overhaul at Kingsholm saw five players including James Hook, Richard Hibbard and John Afoa, make their debuts in the opening match of the 2014-15 Aviva Premiership season.

But any optimism was swept aside as Gloucester slumped to their heaviest league defeat, leaking eight tries in a 53-6 rout.

"Nobody likes to get beaten like that, but we said all through pre-season that we wouldn't know where we are until we've played the first six games of the season," he said.

"At that point we'll know much better where we are and where we can aspire to be by the end of the season.

"It was a tough night, but we were playing the champions and we saw why last season they were first and we were ninth.

"We know we're much better than that scoreline suggests and now it's down to us to show that.

"We just didn't know how quickly the team would gel. We saw against Northampton there are elements of the game we did well and there are elements of the game we have to put a huge amount of work into."

George North helped himself to three tries as Northampton launched their Premiership title defence with a statement of intent.

Luther Burrell crossed twice, outplaying England rival and opposite number Billy Twelvetrees in the process, with George Pisi, Kahn Fotuali'i and Jon Fisher also touching down.

But the night belonged to North, who said: "We've made a conscious effort as champions not to be one hit wonders.

"We want to back last season up and work hard to make sure we can do it again."

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