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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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 27 April 2018
Hurricanes v Sunwolves 07h35 Wellington
Stormers v Rebels 13h00 Newlands
Leicester Tigers v Newcastle Falcons 18h45 Welford Road
Sat, 28 April 2018
Reds v Lions 05h05 Suncorp Stadium
Blues v Jaguares 07h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Crusaders 09h45 Canberra
Kings v Cheetahs 13h00 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 14h00 Sandy Park
Worcester Warriors v Harlequins 14h00 Sixways
Gloucester v Bath 14h00 Kingsholm
Connacht v Leinster 14h05 Sportsground
Dragons v Scarlets 14h05 Rodney Parade
Bulls v Highlanders 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Treviso v Zebre 16h00 Stadio Monigo
Cardiff Blues v Ospreys 16h35 Cardiff Arms Park
Munster v Ulster 16h35 Thomond Park
Edinburgh v Glasgow Warriors 18h35 Myreside
Sun, 29 April 2018
London Irish v Saracens 14h00 Madejski Stadium
Wasps v Northampton Saints 14h00 Ricoh Arena
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 22 April 2018
Racing Metro v Munster 27 | 22
Brumbies v Jaguares 20 | 25
Sat, 21 April 2018
Ulster v Glasgow Warriors 36 | 15
Zebre v Ospreys 37 | 14
Sharks v Stormers 24 | 17
Leinster v Scarlets 38 | 16
Bulls v Rebels 28 | 10
Reds v Chiefs 12 | 36
Crusaders v Sunwolves 33 | 11
Fri, 20 April 2018
Waratahs v Lions 0 | 29
Blues v Highlanders 16 | 34
Sun, 15 April 2018
Saracens v Bath 41 | 6
London Irish v Exeter Chiefs 5 | 45
Sat, 14 April 2018
Leinster v Treviso 15 | 17
Kings v Cardiff Blues 12 | 45
PREMIERSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Exeter Chiefs 20 15 0 5 75
Saracens 20 14 0 6 67
Wasps 20 12 1 7 61
Newcastle Falcons 20 13 0 7 59
Leicester Tigers 20 2 0 8 57
Gloucester 20 11 1 8 56
Sale Sharks 20 10 0 10 54
Bath 20 9 0 11 46
Harlequins 20 7 0 13 36
Northampton Saints 20 7 0 13 36
Worcester Warriors 20 6 0 14 31
London Irish 20 3 0 17 22