'Best attacking team in the league' - Gloucester boss Skivington salutes Saints

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Gloucester boss George Skivington has labelled Saints 'the best attacking team in the league' ahead of Saturday's huge Gallagher Premiership showdown at cinch Stadium at Franklin's Gardens (kick-off 2.45pm).

With just six league games to go, this weekend's meeting looks huge for both sides as they are currently separated by just a single place and point in the league standings.

Saints, who beat Sale Sharks 38-34 last weekend, are third, while Gloucester, who come into the game on the back of a 28-26 win against Harlequins, are fourth.

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And Skivington has warned his players they must be on their mettle if they want to keep Saints quiet on Saturday afternoon.

George SkivingtonGeorge Skivington
George Skivington

“They are the best-attacking team in the league, when things open up, as we saw at the weekend when it looked like they were dead and buried, they just open up and score tries all over the place," Skivington told GloucestershireLive.

“They are very dangerous with lots of running threats. It looks like they get lots of opportunistic moments but they get them by running and chasing really hard.

“They have got a good connected attack and we are going to have to be on our toes defensively.

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“You have to highlight some key characters and do things in training to try and stress yourself the way we are going to get stressed defensively on game day, but we are not at a stage where we can take our eye off the ball of what we are doing with our own game.”

Skivington expects his side's game management to hold the key to success at the Gardens, highlighting the work of in-form fly-half Santi Carrerras and talented young centre Seb Atkinson.

Skivington said: “The game management side of rugby is hard. It is an area of the game we have worked really hard on for a while now, for a lot of this season and the back end of last.

"Santi wasn’t a part of that plan at 10 and by default, he has ended up there. English isn’t his first language so we have had to work really hard to empower him and make sure the boys are listening to what he says.

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“Seb Atkinson is a young 12 and he is doing brilliantly well but he hadn’t really played in the Premiership before he came here (from Worcester Warriors) so he is learning to manage a game as well.

“It is exciting because we are having good open conversations with lads who aren’t stuck in their ways and throwing things back at us when we ask questions of them.

“It is a massive part of the game. I thought Santi did well against Quins and he is working very hard on it and of course we have got Ben Meehan at scrum half, who is very experienced, and Chris Harris when he is here on that outside challenge.

“It is exciting because when we do have everyone back on the field next season, we will have so many leaders on the pitch.”