CHARLIE Sharples insists Gloucester's recent run of form will mean nothing when they host an Exeter Chiefs side enjoying their own purple patch.
The Cherry and Whites have suffered just one loss in their last six matches in all competitions – a 23-28 reverse to Saracens on December 2 – and have won all but the opening game of the season at Kingsholm.
Gloucester are riding high following last weekend's 47-3 Amlin Challenge Cup victory over London Irish, but wing Sharples insists that, although the Chiefs' Achilles' heel at times this season has been their away form, Gloucester will only write them off at their peril.
"It's going to be a tough game for sure," said Sharples.
"Earlier in the season they were struggling away from Sandy Park but not anymore. If you look at their recent form, the reason they've been able to get a run of form going is because they've won games on the road.
"But I don't think many people are surprised by their recent run of form. They have bags of quality and that's finally coming to the surface in a big way, and we have to be wary of them if we want to win.
"But we are confident at Kingsholm – it's a special place to play rugby and that all came from the summer when we came into it on the back of three consecutive losses at home."
Gloucester's blend of youth and experience has paid dividends for them this season, with experienced names such as James Simpson-Daniel impressing alongside young faces such as Sharples, Billy Twelvetrees and Freddie Burns.
And 23-year-old Sharples, who featured twice for England in the autumn internationals, believes it is an exciting time to be in Nigel Davies' side.
"We're still quite a young team if you compare us to others in the Premiership," he added.
"We've got a long way to go before we are at the level we want to be, but it's clear we are improving with every game."
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