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 Gloucester's final preseason friendly, a 29-24 defeat away at Scarlets, Director of Rugby David Humphreys reflected upon a performance that will form a crucial part of the Cherry and Whites preparations for the Aviva Premiership opener at Northampton next week.
Speaking to the media after the 45-8 preseason friendly victory over Munster, Director of Rugby David Humphreys wasn't getting too carried away, admitting that his team are making progress but that there's still a way to go.
Billy Twelvetrees spoke to Gloucester Rugby TV on Friday ahead of the pre season friendly with Munster Rugby. The club captain is excited to be back in the action at Kingsholm and experience the atmosphere again.
Gloucester Rugby Director of Rugby David Humphreys spoke to the local media after the 62-19 victory over Yorkshire Carnegie, and showed his delight at the first run out and stated there was still lots to work on ahead of the new season
Mark Atkinson made his first appearance in Cherry and White in the pre season victory over Yorkshire Carnegie on Saturday. Speaking to the local media, he was impressed with the first experience of Kingsholm.
Gloucester Rugby kick off their Aviva Premiership campaign at Northampton Saints on Friday evening, and then return home to entertain the same opponent in the A League at Kingsholm on Monday September 8th.
Gloucester Rugby travelled to West Wales for their third and final preseason game ahead of the start of the Aviva Premiership next week. The Scarlets were the opposition and Gloucester left Parc y Scarlets on the wrong end of a 29-24 scoreline.