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Dan McKellar: Leicester Tigers 'better' for cup final defeat, says head coach

Action shot from Leicester's Premiership Rugby Cup final defeat by Gloucester
Leicester's rematch with Gloucester comes just seven days after they lost the Premiership Rugby Cup final to the Cherry and Whites

Boss Dan McKellar says Leicester are "better" for last week's Premiership Rugby Cup final defeat by Gloucester as they prepare for an immediate rematch.

Gloucester came from behind to clinch the season's first piece of silverware in front of a home crowd at Kingsholm.

With league action restarting after a two-month break, Leicester's home game on Friday could shape their Premiership hopes with six rounds left.

"We have to get a response this week," McKellar told BBC Radio Leicester.

"We will be better for that game. Obviously it was disappointing last week to lose the final and we were a little bit clunky. We hadn't played a whole lot of rugby over the last couple of months.

"Sometimes you just have to give credit to the opposition, lick your wounds and understand you were beaten by a better team on the night.

"But pleasingly, and it doesn't happen that often, I said to the players that this is a little bit like Test rugby.

"You play a Test match and then you have another crack a week later in another Test match, so that is how we will approach it."

Van Poortvliet set for return

The sides that line up in the league this week are expected to be considerably different, with the international contingent of players who were away on Six Nations duties available for selection.

Lock George Martin and prop Dan Cole, who both started in England's defeat by France on Saturday, could come in but there might also be a return for scrum-half Jack van Poortvliet after eight months out.

The injury cost the 22-year-old a place at last year's World Cup, but McKellar says the playmaker is on the cusp of a eagerly anticipated comeback.

"Jack's very close and so he will be a big chance of playing this week," McKellar said.