Rory Lawson is delighetd to be in the Guinness Premiership
RORY LAWSON has insisted the chance to play his rugby in the Guinness Premiership was simply too good to turn down - and believes the English league is 'centre stage in the rugby world.'
Gloucester's new recruit from the Edinburgh Gunners, who begins his two-year Kingsholm contract in the summer, also praised the ambition and commitment of coaches Dean Ryan and Bryan Redpath as major reasons for moving south.
The 24-year-old is currently in Australia preparing for the Commonwealth Games, but told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk. "Dean Ryan and Bryan Redpath certainly made things easier for me. They were just so positive about everything, are hugely ambitious and very committed to the club. Overall, they made it a very attractive option for me to join a club that is really building.
"My Dad [former Scotland star Alan Lawson] came down and played for London Scottish and never regretted it. He said the competition was excellent and these days the Guinness Premiership is at the centre stage of the rugby world.
"I didn't want to look back at my career and regret I didn't attempt to play at that level. The decision to leave is always difficult but in the end I knew I had to make it to further my career."
Lawson has made five appearances for the Gunners this season but is behind Scotland's first choice number nine Mike Blair in the pecking order.
But with Blair's involvement in the Six Nations, Lawson captained the side in their last two games, against Cardiff and Ulster. The former Heriots FP star who is the grandson of commentator Bill McLaren, has scored two tries for Edinburgh and has helped them to third spot in the Celtic League this season.
"It was frustrating at Edinburgh with Mike Blair up there too," he said. "He has obviously been in outstanding form this season but when I was given my chance, I thought I made the most of the opportunities.
"I thought I had shown my hand in that sort of environment but to get the chance in the Premiership at a club like Gloucester is fantastic and I am really looking forward to the challenges it will throw at me.
"There is no such thing as a comfort zone in the Premiership and I am really excited about stretching and pushing myself to the limit.
"Gloucester is a massive club with an incredible tradition and I hope I can add to that next season."
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Gloucester may be coming off their best win of the season, the 38-16 victory over Wasps last weekend, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys admits that Sunday's trip to Saracens is an even tougher test.
After a series of contract announcements last week, hooker Richard Hibbard is the latest Gloucester Rugby player to commit to a new contract at the club and told GRTV how much he enjoys playing in the Cherry and White of Gloucester.
A try scorer in the 36-18 Aviva Premiership win over Wasps at Kingsholm on Saturday, Charlie Sharples admitted that Gloucester would enjoy the moment but can't get too carried away. The team got what they deserved but the winger wants these performances to be more frequent.
England Head Coach Eddie Jones has made two changes to his side to play Australia in Saturday's final match of the Old Mutual Wealth Series at Twickenham Stadium (kick-off 2.30pm, live on Sky Sports 2). Jonny May lines up on the left wing.