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."
Speaking to GRTV after the game, Backs Coach Tim Taylor was happy with the squad as they cruised to victory over Treviso. The result wasn't in doubt, but the Cherry and Whites laboured to secure a crucial try bonus point.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester Rugby centre Matt Scott is excited to take the field again as the Cherry and Whites look to build on the win in Bayonne when Treviso come to Kingsholm this Saturday.
Defence Coach Jonny Bell admitted this week that the European Rugby Challenge Cup victory in Bayonne was a welcome one, stressed that Benetton Treviso will pose a tough test on Saturday at Kingsholm but that Gloucester are determined to deliver in front of their own fans.
Motu Matu'u is looking to make up for lost time this week as the Cherry and Whites head to Basque Country to take on Bayonne in the European Rugby Challenge Cup opener. The Samoan hooker made his first appearance in the jersey last weekend, and is hoping to contribute to the team this weekend.
Gloucester's attentions turn to Europe this weekend as they travel to Bayonne for their opening fixture of this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup. Forwards Coach Trevor Woodman told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will be aiming to top their pool as they've done for the past two seasons, but is well aware of how tough it is to win in France.
Although understandably disappointed at seeing victory slip away at the last minute, Ben Morgan said after the game at Exeter that there were plenty of positives that Gloucester could take from the game.
Speaking after a last-gasp try from Exeter earned the Chiefs a 27-27 draw at Sandy Park on Saturday, Charlie Sharples admitted to mixed feelings. The game saw him score a try on his 200th competitive appearance for the club, but the frustration from not closing out the win was clear.
Gloucester made it two wins from two outings in this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup as they outplayed Benetton Treviso at Kingsholm to win by 37 points to 8, the bonus point try coming with the final play of the game.