GLOUCESTER flanker Andy Hazell freely admits he needs plenty of game time - and believes it was the crucial factor in his international recall this week.
The Kingsholm breakaway was named in Andy Robinson's 30-man squad for the forthcoming autumn internationals after failing to make the initial cut to face Australia, New Zealand and Samoa.
And while there is still plenty of work to be done before he is guaranteed a place in the final 22, he knows his club form is crucial to his international dreams.
Hazell has been running hot in the number seven shirt and was one of Gloucester's stand-out figures during the first half of their European Challenge Cup victory over Bayonne last weekend.
"When the initial squad was announced I had only played three games and it takes me a number of games to fully get going and into my stride," Hazell told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk
"But I feel like every time I play, I am getting better, fitter and running into form. For me, it's a confidence thing and I just needed to concentrate on playing well for Gloucester and stringing games together before I thought about anything else.
"I knew that if I could just play some matches and regain some form, I may get another opportunity and now I just want to give it everything."
Hazell began England's Six Nations campaign in Cardiff last season but initially missed out on selection this time around before an injury to Joe Worsley prompted a rethink by Robinson.
"It's a great opportunity for me and it will good to be involved. All I can do now is continue playing as well as I can," Hazell said.
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.
David Humphreys was minutes away from a winning interview on Saturday afternoon, but a late try from Exeter Chiefs meant the points were shared at Sandy Park. Humphreys spoke with the local media after the 27-27 draw.
Speaking to the media ahead of Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture away at Exeter Chiefs, Director of Rugby David Humphreys reiterated that there are elements of Gloucester's game that are in good shape at present, that the performance against Bath was a step forward from Newcastle but that individual errors are costing the Cherry and Whites dear.
Centre Matt Scott, a try-scorer in Bayonne last weekend, insists that Gloucester are taking nothing for granted when they welcome Benetton Treviso to Kingsholm on Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup (kick off 3pm).