Anglo-Welsh Cup: Gloucester Rugby look to qualify for semi-final place

Gloucester Rugby are in search for qualification to the knock-out stages of the Anglo-Welsh Cup, which will be their second in as many weeks.

Johan Ackermann’s side host an in-form Ospreys on Friday evening before travelling to Newcastle Falcons in a fortnight.

Gloucester sit in third place in their group, level on points with Wasps with six points. Both sides currently trail behind Bath who top the group with eight points from two games.

The Cherry and White’s narrowly lost to Leicester Tigers 26-24 in their opening game but responded well as they ran away with a 47-7 win over London Irish.

Willi Heinz.

The West Country based club qualified for an away quarter-final berth in the European Challenge Cup against Irish side Connacht Rugby despite a 34-24 defeat at Kingsholm, their first defeat at home of the season.

With a rich history of late in the European competition, having reached the final last season and winning the competition the year before that, Gloucester are accustomed to knock-out rugby.

Ackermann will look to play a mixture of youth and experience in a bid to not only qualify for the next stage of the competition but to rest key players in order to maintain their push in the Aviva Premiership.

Ospreys are in a similar position to Gloucester and will require a win from this game, having four points from two games with their only win a 26-16 victory coming over Welsh rivals Cardiff Blues.

The Swansea based club opened up there campaign with a heavy defeat at Liberty Stadium to Wasps in a 12-36 romp.

Since their previous Anglo-Welsh Cup appearances Ospreys have had an upturn in fortune both in the Pro 14 and European Champions Cup, despite not qualifying for the quarter-finals.

Another side that stand in the wake of Gloucester Rugby are Newcastle Falcons, a side rich in form in the Aviva Premiership and the north-east club are the only team in the competition to have scored over 100 points in their first two games.

Topping their group with ten points following two bonus-point wins, Falcons are currently the strongest candidates in the competition being one of only three sides to pick up all points on offer.

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