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Aviva Premiership
Davies hails Gloucester progress
ESPN Staff
November 2, 2012
Gloucester's Nigel Davies in his new surroundings, Kingsholm, Gloucester, August 17, 2012
Nigel Davies has impressed since taking over at Gloucester © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Nigel Davies | James Simpson-Daniel
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Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies insists Harlequins are favourites for their Premiership clash this weekend but is satisfied with the progress his side has made since his arrival.

Davies took over following the departure of Bryan Redpath, who was removed as Sale Sharks director of rugby earlier this week, and Gloucester have enjoyed a steady start to the season. They are unbeaten in eight matches in all competitions and grabbed a thrilling win over Leicester Tigers last weekend.

Davies is satisfied with the squad's development this season, particularly their new-found ability to grind out results, but maintains the Premiership champions continue to set the standards.

"Quins will be strong," Davies said. "You don't win this league without having a strong squad of players and they did it with some style last season. They are the champions and will be favourites this weekend.

"We have just got to turn up with the same mentality we've had all season, to fight hard for the shirt and for each other. It is early days yet. There is a long way to go, but last weekend was a fabulous win for us against Leicester on what was a fabulous occasion.

"We focused on certain things at the start of the season, and one of those was to produce that bloody-mindedness to be able to win games and grind out results. They are not the most attractive things sometimes in the game, but you have to do them well in order to stay in games and get the result."

The Gloucester line-up also includes wing James Simpson-Daniel, whose blistering form has made many pundits wonder what England might be missing.

Davies added: "James is an international wing. Whether he plays international rugby or not is not my call. When you look at your outside backs, you have got to have an x-factor, but also be very solid and make good rugby decisions. He does all of those things."

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