Gloucester Rugby head coach George Skivington has praised his young side for their attitude in a bruising Heineken Champions Cup Round 2 defeat at Leinster Rugby.

The Gallagher Premiership outfit named a much-changed team for the trip to Dublin last Friday due to a busy festive schedule and were beaten 57-0 by the four-time champions, though their Round 1 win over Union Bordeaux-Bègles means they sit eighth in Pool A – the last qualification place.

“It is not enjoyable to lose and not enjoyable to lose in that fashion, but in the context of the group we brought and to play a team that went to Racing and won 42-10 last week, I thought some of those young lads showed some real fighting spirit,” he said.

“That was the marker today, how long you were going to fight for and do the basics well, and see how it goes.

“We put some pressure on Leinster but didn’t quite execute against a very strong defence. The fight and intent of the boys was spot on.”

Skivington shouldered the blame for the heavy loss and reiterated the quality of opponent Gloucester were engaging with at the RDS Arena.

“I thought the boys did everything I asked of them, but the score’s on me,” he stated. “It’s not a reflection of the players.

“Leinster are very well coached, very well drilled, and they don’t blow their roles. That’s why they’re the favourites for the tournament. It’s not a nice scoreline, but they put big scorelines on huge French clubs.”