Gloucester's Duncan McRae was delighted to have completed 65 minutes in Monday night's 36-10 win over Saracens in front of more than 2,600 supporters at Kingsholm in the Zurich 'A' League win.
The 30 year-old Aussie has missed a number of months through neck and knee injuries this season, and made a timely return to the Gloucester shirt with three crucial Premiership games coming up.
Commenting on www.gloucesterrugbyclub.com after the second team clash with Saracens the fly-half said: "I'm just glad everything is back to normal now. I came through 65 minutes unscathed, and it's the biggest mental boost I could have had. I'm glad to get my head right and back on the field."
Director of rugby Nigel Melville will now be able to consider McRae for selection for Saturday's home clash against Leeds.
"Hopefully my name is now in the hat for the next few games, but there are guys ahead of me who deserve a chance. First things first, I'm just glad to be back," added McRae.
McRae's suffered a serious neck injury against Ulster at the end of October, which was followed by two knee injuries.
"I've tried to stay focussed and involved throughout the season, and kept telling myself I'd be back."
The former South Wales Waratahs player knows the final three games against Leeds (9 April), Sale (15 April) and Saracens (30 April) are key to Gloucester's season, as they push for a top three place, with only five points between them and third placed Sale.
"Saturday's game against Leeds is massive. We're still in with a chance of third place, and we have to fight it out with a number of other clubs."
Looking back at the impressive performance against Saracens in the 'A' League, and a returning Richard Hill, McRae said: "It was fantastic on Monday night. There was a good crowd of more than 2,500, and the young guys were tremendous, some of them are still attending assembly at school, which was a bit weird. The young talent coming through is a big positive for Gloucester."
Previewing Friday evening's local derby at Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell told the local media that Gloucester's preparations have gone well and that the whole squad is united in trying to finish the season on a high.
Speaking to GRTV this week, Acting Head Coach Jonny Bell spoke of his pleasure in the efforts and intensity in training from the squad after a tricky few weeks. The team were preparing for big games with Bristol and Cardiff in coming weeks.
Willi Heinz was understandably and visibly disappointed when he spoke to GRTV after the 27-30 home defeat to Harlequins, apologising to the home support as the game slipped away after seemingly having the game under control.
Speaking to the local media this week, Scottish centre Matt Scott spoke of the squad's determination to put in a big home performance against Harlequins, with vital points up for grabs in the hunt for a Top Six spot this Saturday (KO 3pm)
Looking ahead to Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Harlequins (kick off 3pm), Head Coach Laurie Fisher told the local media that Gloucester will need to be on top of their game in a match which has big implications in terms of top six ambitions.
A big few days for the Gloucester-Hartpury Women side. First came the news that the team will compete in Women's Super Rugby next season, and on Saturday the team will play Worcester Ladies IIs at Kingsholm. Centre Hannah Jones and wing Michelle Ruddock spoke to GRTV this week to reflect on events.
In the aftermath of the Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell was able to look forward to this weekend's European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final against Cardiff Blues (Kingsholm, kick off 8:05pm).
Missing so many starters, and up against a team fighting for their Premiership existence, Gloucester did what had to be done at Ashton Gate on Friday evening battling their way to a 32-14 Aviva Premiership win over Bristol Rugby.