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George Skivington not feeling pressure before Gloucester’s Challenge Cup final


Image source, Rex features

Comment on the photo, George Skeffington has been under pressure after Gloucester’s disappointing Premier League performance

  • author, Sarah Bustan
  • Role, BBC Sport columnist

Gloucester club director of rugby George Skeffington said he felt “no pressure” about his future ahead of Friday’s European Challenge Cup final.

The Whites face South Africa’s Sharks on Friday, May 24, at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, aiming to win their second title of the season.

“I don’t feel any pressure like that over the outcome of this match,” Skeffington told BBC Five Live Sport.

“I feel the pressure because we made the decision earlier in the year to go for the two trophies, and I think that’s the pressure you ultimately want as a manager. [director of rugby].

“You want to go to the finals and see if the plans are in place and if you have been able to do what you set out to do.

“I keep my focus very much on what I’m doing, so what is said and what isn’t really a concern for me, because I just stay focused on the job. It’s not something I even think about.”

Image source, Rex features

Comment on the photo, Gloucester beat Italian team Benetton in the semi-finals to reach their fifth European Challenge Cup final

Alex Brown, Gloucester’s chief executive, said earlier this month that the club “must get this European final right”.

A review of the season will take place over the summer although Brown said Skeffington – who is under contract – He had the support of the club.

Gloucester are unbeaten in the Challenge Cup, having been the only team in the competition to reach the group stage without losing.

They beat Castres, Ospreys and Benetton in the knockout stages to reach their fifth Challenge Cup final, a competition Gloucester won in 2006 and 2015.

“Emotions are very strong, and they will get even more intense this week,” Skeffington said.

“We don’t need to talk too much about it, it’s a final and obviously we’ll review who we play against but I think everyone is well aware of that.

He added: “You play because you want to reach the finals at the end of the season, and the players have earned the right to go to Tottenham and engage in a struggle.”

Skeffington said the prospect of a record-equalling third Challenge Cup title to lift Clermont and Harlequins’ level would be “fantastic for the club”.

He said: “We are trying to get some titles in the club. There are not many titles in the cabinet.”

“We changed the tact a little when we knew someone [Premiership] “It was a long shot, but it’s important to me because the more finals we reach, hopefully it will lead to more titles.”



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