Laidlaw aims high ahead of Premiership

Thu, 01 Sep 2016 13:27
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NEWS: Gloucester captain Greig Laidlaw has high expectations for the new Premiership season.

Despite finishing in the top spot three times since the turn of the century, Gloucester has yet to lift the Premiership title – one of just four teams going into the 2016/17 season without a crown to boast.

The skipper admits that his side needs to improve across the board if they are to reach their lofty aims.

It’s a record Laidlaw is desperate to avenge, starting when they host the competition’s most successful side in Leicester Tigers on Friday.

However, Laidlaw admits the route back to Europe’s top tier is not going to be as straightforward as some in the west may hope.

"We’ve got to try and change the way we’ve played and we’ve changed the way we’ve trained as well. We’re trying to be shorter, sharper, more intense and a lot more accurate," said Laidlaw.

"We’re trying to drag the skill level up across the board and the understanding of the game – we work hard but we want to work smart as well, and that’s the message the coaches and the leader's group are trying to get across.

"We want to get back into the Champions Cup absolutely, but we’re waking up in the morning and going to training because we have the ambition to win the Premiership.  

"That’s the mentality we’re trying to develop within the squad. We’ll set ourselves many goals during the season to keep track of where we are and hopefully these things will add up.

"We’re not going to shout about it from the rooftops because we’ve finished eighth and ninth the last two years, we understand where we are,'

This season will see Laidlaw joined by fellow Scotland international Matt Scott at Kingsholm, who arrives from his former club Edinburgh.

It’s a move south which Laidlaw has already profited from, making 42 appearances in his two seasons to date, while also becoming a focal point of the Scotland team and earning a World Player of the Year nomination.

The 30-year-old believes there’s no better experience for Scott to develop, both with Gloucester and on the Premiership stage.

"It’s going to be a big year, it was brilliant for me to come down to Gloucester," he said.

"That helped my game and under Vernon [Cotter] with Scotland, he’s been a big help too. I want to have a more successful season once again.

"I think it can have the same influence. I think Matt’s move has come at a brilliant time for him, he’s at the right age and he’s come for the right reasons.

"He wanted to get out and challenge himself in a different environment week in week out, and he’s settled in well with the group.

"Matt gave me a call, I’m decent mates with him from back in Edinburgh and I couldn’t speak highly enough of Gloucester.

"It’s a wonderful place to play your rugby in Premiership and in Kingsholm, so I’m delighted he’s come down,"


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Sat, 24 March 2018
Sunwolves v Chiefs 04h15 Tokyo
Hurricanes v Highlanders 06h35 Wellington
Kings v Treviso 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Sale Sharks v Worcester Warriors 15h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Saracens v Harlequins 15h00 London
London Irish v Gloucester 15h00 Madejski Stadium
Stormers v Reds 15h15 Newlands
Cardiff Blues v Ulster 15h15 Cardiff Arms Park
Newcastle Falcons v Northampton Saints 17h30 Kingston Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h30 Thomond Park
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
Jaguares v Lions 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sun, 25 March 2018
Leicester Tigers v Wasps 15h00 Welford Road
Fri, 30 March 2018
Chiefs v Highlanders 06h35 Hamilton
Rebels v Hurricanes 08h45 Melbourne
Scarlets v La Rochelle 17h30 Parc y Scarlets
Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 17 12 0 5 61
Wasps 17 11 1 5 54
Saracens 17 11 0 6 53
Newcastle Falcons 17 11 0 6 50
Leicester Tigers 17 10 0 7 47
Gloucester 17 9 1 7 46
Bath 17 9 0 8 45
Sale Sharks 17 8 0 9 43
Harlequins 17 7 0 10 36
Northampton Saints 17 6 0 11 31
Worcester Warriors 17 5 0 12 27
London Irish 17 2 0 15 15