Gloucester Rugby travel to Sale Sharks on Saturday for Round 16 of the Gallagher Premiership. Ahead of the game, George Barton spoke to the press to preview the fixture.
On rest week
“It’s been nice to have that time of to rejuvenate and have that time away from rugby and get the body back on track. It’s been nice to have had a little bit of down time as well and have a bit of a refresh. I had a bit of time away and I obviously had a busy couple of weeks but now I’m back in I can just rip into it and I’m really excited for what’s ahead.”
On recent opportunities
“I’m just taking it one game at a time to be honest. I’m really grateful for the opportunity and really pleased to be given the chance. I’m enjoying every single opportunity I get to put on the shirt. It’s always been a childhood dream to even wear the shirt so I’m just excited and I just want to learn and adapt and I’m looking forward to the future.”
On making improvements
“There are so many parts of my game that I feel I’ve improved. I’m noting a lot of areas that I need to work on and I’m addressing that with Kingy (Alex King) and Dom (Waldouck). We’re looking at areas where I can grow but also areas that are my strengths so I can keep getting better.
“As a young 10 I always wanted to get the chance to put my best foot forward and really show the coaches what I can do. I was patient and I tried my hardest in training week in week out and showed them that I was really keen to really have a go as soon as I got the chance. Some people say it takes a bit of luck but a few things happened and all of a sudden I got the shot and the big focus was as soon as I got that chance was what can I do with the opportunity. As soon as I got the opportunity I really stepped up and felt that I grew as a player and it’s put me in a pretty good place now.”
On accurate goal kicking
“As a goal kicker you want to strive for perfection. Every single kick you want to be there and say ‘there’s no reason I can’t get this.’ At the moment it’s going pretty well for me but I’m just taking it a kick at a time and looking at ways I can help the team. Adding three points when I need to and just working at the training ground to perfect that so it can relate to a game in that sense, that’s all I really look for. As a kicker, that’s all I really want to achieve that perfection.”
On facing Sale Sharks
“Sale have a really strong defence. They are really aggressive off the line and they put a lot of heat on and a lot of pressure. We’ve just got to be patient with how we can break that down and when we can take our opportunities. In attack they have a couple of live wires who are world class with Faf De Klerk and players like that. We just need to be patient with our processes that we’ve been working on in the week and just try and break that aggressive defence down and try and play on our own terms.
“If we can get front foot ball and keep as much speed in our game as possible then that’s only going to help us. The quicker ball we get the more it will help us slow down their ability to come off the line and put pressure on us. If we can get the forwards to be dominant then that will help us in every aspect of the game.”