All Blacks would not ig­nore star pair

Gloucestershire Echo - - SPORT -

» LAST week I was asked by BBC Ra­dio Glouces­ter­shire to talk about Glouces­ter Rugby’s sea­son to date, and their chances of potentiall­y beat­ing Sara­cens in their own back yard.

The Glouces­ter de­fence will have to be at its very best - if sloppy tries are given away through poor de­fend­ing, their will be no way back, even with the at­tack­ing op­tions that Glouces­ter pos­sesses.

It will be a huge coup if Glouces­ter do make it to the fi­nal. This will be the first time in eight sea­sons Glouces­ter has com­peted in the play offs - it is a one-off game, and any­thing can hap­pen.

Can Sara­cens repeat the in­ten­sity shown in New­cas­tle? Will they be un­der pow­ered due to in­juries? Will Glouces­ter have the likes of Thor­ley back fit?

Be­fore those ques­tions can be an­swered Glouces­ter travel to Sale Sharks and Jo­han Ack­er­mann’s se­lec­tion will be very in­ter­est­ing.

It may be mixed with some key play­ers rested, and oth­ers com­ing back from in­jury given a run out.

Come play-off day you will know 100 per cent the Sara­cens will be ready, they will be fresh and mo­ti­vated to once again reach a fi­nal.

Danny Cipri­ani has been awarded Player of the Sea­son by his fel­low pro­fes­sion­als, but can he get any­where near the Eng­land World Cup squad?

Add to this Alex Goode has been voted Euro­pean Player of the Year, and like Cipri­ani he too seems sur­plus to Ed­die Jones’ squad.

The head coach calls the shots but the coaches around him must have some of the re­spon­si­bil­ity in try­ing to per­suade the main man that his se­lec­tion is clearly wrong.

No nation in the world would leave out these two great play­ers who are in the form of their lives - and that in­cludes the All Blacks.

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