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.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees, speaking to GRTV after the 35-10 over Zebre, was happy with the bonus point win over the Italian side but admitted Gloucester will need to tighten up for the return fixture in Parma.
Gloucester Rugby welcome Sione Kalamafoni, Greig Laidlaw and Tom Palmer back to the starting line up and feature David Halaifonua in a matchday squad for the first time, as they resume Aviva Premiership action against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick off 5:30pm).