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Humphreys hungry for home comforts

Gloucester will slump to a 19-season domestic low at Kingsholm if they are beaten by Aviva Premiership title contenders Saracens on Friday night.

Although Gloucester returned to winning ways by pipping Exeter 26-25 in last weekend's west country derby, their current league form on home soil is miserable.

And a fourth successive Kingsholm loss in the Premiership would represent their worst home league run during one season since 1995-96.

Increasing the degree of difficulty, meanwhile, is third-placed Saracens' record against Gloucester of just one defeat in the last nine meetings, stretching back to 2010.

Gloucester last tasted Premiership success at Kingsholm when they toppled Leicester on October 4.

Reflecting on the Exeter victory, Gloucester rugby director David Humphreys said: "That win was important for a number of reasons, but mainly because it came after two disappointments at home over the Christmas period.

"Perhaps, looking back, we were a bit lucky, but there have been plenty of other games this season where we haven't had that luck.

"It was important from a morale point of view, and gets the new year off to a winning start.

"With 10 games still to go, it gives us a bit of enthusiasm and encouragement going into this next phase of games.

"There has been a bit of a buzz about training this week, but also a note of reality because Saracens are coming to Kingsholm and, over the course of the past few seasons, they've shown themselves to be one of the top teams.

"Our record against the top teams hasn't been great this season, so it's a big opportunity.

"We've got to aim for a complete performance.

"We have had certain elements of our game go well in certain matches this season, and we will need to be closer to that complete performance on Friday evening."

Humphreys has named an unchanged team from last Saturday, with wing Jonny May and hooker Darren Dawidiuk both making their 100th appearances for the club.

Saracens, meanwhile, will be captained by flanker Kelly Brown, taking over from lock Alistair Hargreaves, who has a knock.

Former Gloucester lock Jim Hamilton packs down in the second-row alongside George Kruis, with Owen Farrell and Richard Wigglesworth forging the half-back combination.

"I feel as if we're going well, without us fully firing," Brown said.

"I think we've done well in our last few games, but in saying that we are working very hard on what we can improve on.

"I think it's only a matter of time before we pull it all together."


From Belfast Telegraph