Saints 'building nicely', says Gloucester boss Skivington ahead of season opener
Gloucester boss George Skivington is full of respect for Saints ahead of Saturday's Gallagher Premiership season opener at Franklin's Gardens.
Skivington is looking forward to seeing his side run out at the Gardens, where they won 31-7 back in May.
But he knows Saints should provide a bigger challenge this time round.
“Saints are a good team," Skivington said.
"They’re four or five years into their journey with their group and their coaching team.
"They were knocking on the door of the top four last year.
"They play some great running rugby and they’ve got a good physical pack and they can open teams up. They did that against Ospreys last weekend.
“They’ve got a couple of good new signings who look to be really sharp and like they’ll fit the Premiership well so it’s a slightly different challenge from last year.
"They’ve been building nicely for a few years and I respect that.”
Saints won both of their pre-season games, beating Bedford Blues 40-21 before defeating Ospreys 31-26.
But how are Gloucester feeling on the back of their own warm-up campaign?
“We’re in a good spot and everyone’s ready to get into the season now," Skivington said.
"There’s only so long that you can do pre-season for and I’m happy with our prep.
“We’ve managed to blend the senior and the young players nicely.
"The young players have had a lot of game time this pre-season which is really important for where we are going as a club and I thought, particularly last Saturday, some of the young guys really stood up and showed what they learned in the last two games.
“The boys have been outstanding and have worked really hard.”