Gloucester bid to end woe at Sale

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Gloucester boss Bryan Redpath insists his team cannot carry the baggage of a crushing home defeat when they resume Guinness Premiership business tonight.

The struggling west country club travel to Stockport where Sale Sharks, one place below them in 10th, await.

Gloucester's 35-6 drubbing by Wasps last Saturday was their biggest in a competitive game at Kingsholm since English leagues began 22 years ago.

They are bolstered by the return of England centre Mike Tindall and Wales international fly-half Nicky Robinson, but Gloucester have not beaten Sale in an away fixture since 2002.

"They (Sale) have gone through a bit of a transition with players," said Redpath, a former Sharks player.

"They are playing like us in some aspects - I can see their frustration as well.

"So we've got to go up there confident, as a group and not carry what happened last Saturday.

"We've got to get out of it, we've got to focus on the problems we have and there is no better way to do that than another game."

Redpath's Sale counterpart Kingsley Jones, who is without England trio Mark Cueto, Mathew Tait and Andrew Sheridan, last saw his team win in the Premiership almost two months ago.

But he said: "There were some pleasing signs in the game last week at Northampton.

"We fought back well in the second-half and we were not that far away at the end.

"Gloucester are in a false position near the foot of the table, and I am sure that after their defeat last week at home to Wasps, they will be ready for a real scrap."

Bath, whose solitary victory of the season in any competition was against Sale last month, face the sizeable task of stopping unbeaten leaders Saracens tomorrow.

Saracens arrive at the Recreation Ground following six successive victories. One more success would make it the best start to a Premiership campaign by any club since Newcastle in 1997.

"The effort is terrific," insisted Bath head coach Steve Meehan, whose team are just five points above bottom club Leeds Carnegie.

"But after this run of results we have to rely on the strong characters in this team, the belief that there really is a lot of talent in the side and get back to playing the type of rugby that we know we are capable of.

"We've been through moments like this in the past, and if they (players) continue to work hard for each other, then we will come out of it. We've just got to relax and do the basics."

Elsewhere tomorrow, second-placed London Irish make the short trip to Harlequins having won their last five away games in all competitions, while Northampton visit Leicester.

The Tigers' 18-12 defeat at Irish last weekend ended an unbeaten run of six domestic and European games, but they have not lost at home since Wasps defeated them in September last year.

And Sunday's action sends Leeds to Wasps - it is almost four years since the Yorkshire club won a Premiership away match - with Newcastle meeting Kingston Park visitors Worcester.