Saracens flanker Calum Clark believes Gloucester pose an altogether new threat as they prepare to travel to Kingsholm, searching for their third Premiership Rugby win on the bounce. 

The reigning champions narrowly defeated London Irish 16-13 in round three thanks to the boot of Manu Vunipola.

It’s been a tough week off the pitch for Saracens, who were docked 35 points and fined more than £5million for breaching salary cap rules.

The club still sit fourth in the table, however, with two victories this season, awaiting the decision from their appeal against the punishment. 

But Clark is fully focused on the pitch and acknowledges that the team need to improve their performance and physicality against the Cherry & Whites.

“It’s a massively different challenge this week going away there to Kingsholm with the big physical challenge coming, but they do like to play as well, so we’ve got to be ready for that,” the 30-year-old said.

“We’ve got to front up physically first and foremost, in the set-piece and in defence and hopefully get some good attacking opportunities off the back of it.

“We’ve got to treat every single set-piece as a huge, game-defending moment for us.

“We felt a little bit like last week was 50-50 in terms of our intent at the scrum. Some were good and some were bad.

“We’ve got to make sure if we want to have any success down there, we have to have the right intent at every single one. We can’t pick and choose - every single one matters.”

Gloucester inflicted a 30-24 defeat upon Saracens at Kingsholm last season but the London side got the upper hand in the contest held at Allianz Park, running out 38-15 victors. 

Clark comes into the side this week after missing Saracens' win over London Irish, while hooker Joe Gray will make his first league start of the season and England’s Jack Singleton - a summer signing from Worcester Warriors - and Ben Spencer are both named on the bench.  

Kingsholm is known for its boisterous atmosphere and Clark believes unity is the key to success.

“We’ve spoken about the atmosphere at Gloucester this week. We’ve had disappointing results down there over the past couple of years,” he added.

“We’re going to try and stick together and focus on what we’re doing, bring all of out intent and energy and focus it on the things we can do, but it is a huge challenge.”