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 to the local media this week, front rower John Afoa is familiar with the challenge of Connacht from his time in Belfast, and the World Cup winner is fully aware of the challenge they pose ahead of Sunday's meeting in the Champions Cup play off
Speaking ahead of Gloucester's European Rugby Champions play-off against Connacht on Sunday (Kingsholm, 3:30pm), Director of Rugby David Humphreys admitted that he's glad to have more players available than in recent weeks ahead of a tough fixture.
Nick Wood captained the Cherry and Whites on Saturday afternoon, and the experienced front rower expressed his pride in the young squad in defeat to Bath on the final day of the Aviva Premiership season.
Lewis Ludlow scored Gloucester's opening try in the 30-50 defeat at Bath on Saturday, part of an impressive performance by the young back row forward. Speaking after the game, he paid tribute to the young Gloucester side who went toe to toe with the Aviva Premiership semi-finalists.
Speaking to the local media after the game, Director of Rugby David Humphreys gave an honest assessment of the game, and expressed his pride in the way his young charges had performed against the title-chasing hosts.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester Rugby scrum half Callum Braley is excited by the challenge of the West Country Derby, and the ex-Bristol man reveals the squad will be giving their all.
Speaking to the local media this week, David Humphreys admitted that team selection for Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at Bath has not been an easy one, with numerous players ruled out due to injury and suspension. However, he pledged that whoever is wearing the Cherry and White will be 100% committed to fighting until the very last minute.
Speaking to GRTV after the 35-13 Aviva Premiership victory over London Irish, Tom Savage praised his team mates for sticking to their game plan and showing real character to clinch an impressive win despite only playing with 14 men for nearly an hour.
With Connacht Rugby the visitors to Kingsholm on Sunday (kick off 3:30pm) for Sunday's European Rugby Champions Cup play-off, Gloucester ring the changes from the side that took the field against Bath last weekend.
Matt Kvesic was a double winner at the Gloucester Rugby End of Season Awards Dinner on Tuesday, coupled with being named in the England Rugby training squad and the 23-year old is delighted with how his campaign has gone.
Gloucester Rugby held their End of Season Dinner at the Centaur at Cheltenham Racecourse this week. Amongst all the awards, Thinus Delport interviewed James Hook, Laurie Fisher, Charlie Sharples and Billy Twelvetrees.