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Fisher knows power of confidence

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England international Charlie Sharples, pictured, returns to action after injury for Gloucester against Leicester on Friday night

England international Charlie Sharples, pictured, returns to action after injury for Gloucester against Leicester on Friday night

England international Charlie Sharples, pictured, returns to action after injury for Gloucester against Leicester on Friday night

Laurie Fisher has underlined the "massive" importance of momentum and confidence as Gloucester head to Aviva Premiership rivals Leicester on Friday night chasing a seventh successive victory in all competitions.

Gloucester might occupy ninth spot in the Premiership, seven points adrift of the title play-off zone, yet recent form suggests they are upwardly mobile.

League victories over Exeter and Saracens, European Challenge Cup wins against Oyonnax and Brive, plus LV= Cup triumphs at the expense of Ospreys and Harlequins mean Gloucester are unbeaten this year.

"Momentum and confidence are massive in rugby, and to have won six from our last six is great for the confidence of the team," Gloucester head coach Fisher said.

"There are things to work on, but we are taking momentum with us.

"We've also been able to rest a number of players over the past couple of weeks, and we are hoping that they come back fresh as we push into what's going to be an exceptionally difficult four-week block of fixtures.

"They (Leicester) have got a great record at home and a lot of pride, but we will turn up and do our best.

"They will be missing some players, but they're just such a tough side anywhere, particularly at Welford Road.

"We are not expecting any favours - it will be an exceptionally tough night for us."

Only centre Bill Meakes, scrum-half Dan Robson and prop Dan Murphy are retained from the side that saw off Quins last time out, with England international Charlie Sharples featuring at full-back after recovering from a leg injury.

Centre Henry Trinder, meanwhile, is also fit again, and he will be on the bench for a potential first appearance since mid-September.

A bonus point victory for Leicester would lift them three places above Saracens into third, with former Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns lining up in a Tigers team captained by number eight Jordan Crane.

And centres George Catchpole and Jack Roberts are rewarded for impressive recent LV= Cup performances, with Catchpole poised to make his Premiership debut and Roberts providing midfield bench cover.

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League leaders Northampton are also in action on Friday night as the Premiership resumes following a five-week break, tackling London Irish at Franklin's Gardens.

Fly-half Stephen Myler and flanker Calum Clark both start after being released from England squad duty, with Saints' England Saxons prop Alex Waller also back in club action.

"Playing the champions at their home ground is the biggest test of the season," said Irish head coach Glenn Delaney, whose team are in 11th place, albeit 20 points above doomed London Welsh.


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