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David Humphreys looks for response from Gloucester players

Gloucester boss David Humphreys wants "frustration and anger" generated by last weekend's defeat against Saracens to be reflected when Newcastle arrive at Kingsholm this weekend.

The west country club missed a glorious chance to topple this season's Aviva Premiership title favourites, losing 25-12 despite Saracens having hooker Schalk Brits sent off after 30 minutes.

Gloucester's Allianz Park setback followed successive league wins against Bath and Harlequins, and Humphreys said: "We admit that last week was very disappointing, that we didn't perform against the champions.

"So, the message has been very clear. There wasn't a huge amount wrong, but what was wrong has to be fixed. And that frustration and anger from last week has to be reflected in the performance this weekend."

Dean Richards' Newcastle underlined their strong form by toppling Northampton last time out, and Humphreys added: "Anybody who has watched them will be pretty impressed with their style of rugby - the way they are trying to play, the ambition they are showing.

"So, it's going to be a test for us, but our focus every week has been about us and making sure we are well prepared. Newcastle will pose something different to Saracens last weekend, but we are ready for it."

Worcester, just two points behind Newcastle but five clear of bottom club London Irish, will look to build on last Saturday's victory over Sale Sharks when they tackle Northampton at Franklin's Gardens.

The Warriors beat Northampton last October, so a season's double will be their prize if they can finish on top in the east midlands.

"That first game against Saints (this season) will be a big motivator for them, as well as us," Worcester rugby director Dean Ryan said.

"We understand the pressure we are under, and nailing results is very important to us.

"After last weekend's defeat at Newcastle, they will be wanting to come out and play again, and that will be a huge challenge for us.

"Hopefully, last week's win will be a catalyst for us to keep going and playing with the same intent."

Saracens, currently four points clear at the Premiership summit, visit Sale on Saturday, with the Sharks eager to preserve the Premiership's solitary unbeaten home record this season.

"We didn't perform in the first half at Worcester," Sale rugby director Steve Diamond said. "In the second half, we did.

"Saracens are missing some players, but they are still a very deep squad and a very good outfit. We've got to be at our very best to get something from the game."

Sale, meanwhile, have announced a one-year contract extension for their Ireland international scrum-half Peter Stringer, who joined the Sharks from their Premiership rivals Bath.

Hailing 38-year-old Stringer, Diamond added: "Peter is a model professional who is incredibly fit and shows no signs of getting old.

"He has brought our back-line to life this season. He is a very well respected member of our squad, and the younger lads have all benefited from Peter being here."

Sunday's Premiership action sees second-placed Exeter host Bath, who have claimed just two wins from their last eight league starts, while London Irish visit Leicester and Wasps entertain title play-off rivals Harlequins.


From Belfast Telegraph