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.
Speaking after the 15-11 win over Bath at the Rec on Friday evening, David Humphreys heaped praise on his players, pointing out how they had bounced back after last week's tough defeat to overcome a rough start before controlling the game and earning the win.
Gloucester Rugby hooker Richard Hibbard spoke to the local media this week as the Cherry and Whites prepare to face Bath Rugby in the Aviva Premiership. The Welshman is ready to bounce back at The Rec.
Speaking to the local media about the local derby against Bath at the Rec on Friday evening, Director of Rugby David Humphreys acknowledged that it will be a tough encounter but hugely exciting at the same time and one the squad are looking forward to.
A visibly disappointed Billy Twelvetrees admitted that it was a very sombre Gloucester dressing room as a last minute try and conversion condemned the Cherry and Whites to an 18-19 defeat against Leicester Tigers on Saturday.
A disappointed Tom Savage told GRTV, after the 18-19 defeat at home to the Leicester Tigers, that the whole Gloucester team had put in a fantastic effort, but just couldn't find the extra one or two percent necessary to put away a top side.
Speaking after the narrow loss to Leicester Tigers on Saturday afternoon, David Humphreys says despite there being a lot of good in Gloucester's performance, he rued the failure to close the game out, as well as thanking the home support
Kiwi second row Jeremy Thrush is thoroughly enjoying his time in Cherry and White so far, and this weekend the Leicester Tigers are the visitors to Kingsholm, and the All Black is massively excited about the challenge.
After two wins in the European Rugby Challenge Cup, securing a home quarter-final, David Humphreys told the local media this week that Gloucester are coming into Saturday's game in good physical shape having rotated the squad. However, he and the squad are prepared for a tough encounter against the Tigers.
Speaking to GRTV after the 14-11 win in Zebre on Saturday, Bill Meakes acknowledged that Zebre had forced Gloucester to dig very deep to earn the win and made a point of thanking the tremendous travelling support.
It's almost four years since Gloucester won a Premiership game at the Rec against Bath. However, they got that monkey off their back on Friday evening with a hard-fought 15-11 win in testing conditions.
John Afoa returns to the Gloucester Rugby starting line up to take on Bath Rugby at the Rec in the Aviva Premiership on Friday evening, one of three changes to the side that started against Leicester last weekend.
Great news this afternoon as Cherry and White duo Mat Protheroe and Ollie Thorley have been named to start for England as they open up their Under 20 Six Nations campaign against Scotland in Glasgow this Friday
A number of Gloucester Rugby's Academy players will be part of a Hartpury Rugby squad which will travel to Pennyhill Park on Thursday to train with Eddie Jones' England side in their build up to take on Scotland.