RUGBY: Absent Gloucester captain Savage hoping for more momentum against Northampton

Tom Savage leads out the Gloucester team

Tom Savage leads out the Gloucester team

First published in Sport

VICTORY against play-off-chasing Harlequins has Gloucester Rugby captain Tom Savage convinced a top-six finish is not out of the question, writes Paddy von Behr.

Last weekend’s 25-20 win, courtesy of tries from Sione Kalamafoni, Matt Kvesic and Dan Murphy, ended a three-match losing run in the Aviva Premiership.

It was also just Gloucester’s third home win of the campaign, as the pre-season play-off hopefuls sit ninth in the table – 12 points adrift of Heineken Cup qualification.

However, Savage, who has been sidelined since November with a torn pectoral muscle, can see the tide turning in favour of the Kingsholm side.

Next up is a trip to Aviva Premiership leaders Northampton Saints but the Cherry & Whites know how to beat them – they did so back in September – and a result at Franklin’s Gardens on Saturday would have the whole squad gunning for the top half of the table.

“If we start building confidence and start picking up the results that we are aiming for, there is no reason why we cannot aim for that top six,” said Savage.

“We are a confident young side and we can start aiming towards that.

“We can definitely try and finish this season on a high and build on something before next year.

“You look at the league this year and I think it has been one of the most competitive seasons ever and it is only fine margins that decide so many matches.”

Second row Savage has been forced to watch on from the treatment table for a large chunk of the season since undergoing surgery in December.

But the 24-year-old, who was handed the captaincy by Nigel Davies at the start of the season, is eager to help Gloucester turn it around.

“I am beginning to get there, to be honest,” he added. “I am doing loads of running and it is just a matter of building the strength and building the contact sessions in there. But I haven’t put any sort of timescale on it yet.

“This is the most frustrating bit and the most difficult as well because you are doing the last little bits – but it is always a lot better when you can get involved in stuff.

“The guys have been great – they have been looking after me really well.”

Every match in the Aviva Premiership rugby season is crucial. To be there to support your team buy your ticket from premiershiprugby.com/tickets.

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