JAMES Hudson insists Gloucester must come out firing on Saturday to give The Shed something to shout about.
The second-row is no stranger to West Country derbies having pulled on both the cherry and white of Gloucester and the blue, black and white of Bath.
He still remembers the hostile welcome he received on his first visit to Kingsholm and he insists Gloucester must harness that energy and unleash it upon the old enemy.
Hudson said: “It’s the biggest rivalry that remains in rugby, there’s Leicester-Northampton but in the West Country this is certainly the big one.
“During my first handful of games for Bath I remember going to Kingsholm in a game we won.
“I had never played in anything close to that, it was a massive, passionate atmosphere.
“I remember warming up right in front of the Shed and but it was just brilliant and added to the energy.
“It was hugely intimidating and one of the best things about being here now is you have The Shed cheering for you and not against you.
“You have to feed off that and we know we need to perform well to get the crowd into the game.
“We owe the supporters every single time we go out to play just because the passion and support they give us.
“The commitment they show us every single week is just massive, the sheer energy and noise at Kingsholm is amazing.
“There’s that extra impetus because it is a West Country derby, I know what that means and we have to perform.”
Hudson is braced for a fierce forward battle and reckons it will be the toughest test they have faced since solidifying the set-piece.
But he is confident the pack has what it takes to suppress Bath’s formidable power as the Cherry and Whites aim for magic number seven, and the potential European play-off that comes with it, in the Premiership.
He added: “We can definitely do it. The frustrating thing is while our average performance hasn’t been good enough, we are capable of it, it’s the drop offs that are unacceptable.
“We have the confidence in our ability and it’s making sure we execute. We have to stick to our guns and play the way we want.
“We’ve made some progress there, our lineout has been good all season, our driving game has been of a higher standard and our scrum has definitely improved in the last six weeks.
“People might say our season is pretty much done but we still have a huge opportunity and we want top-tier European rugby.
“ We set ourselves the target of getting seventh, we’re capable of doing it and have started this block of Premiership games with two wins.
“We know this is the biggest challenge since we started making strides – it’s a great test for us.”