Willi Heinz made his first appearance this season last time out against Northampton Saints. The scrum-half has been training hard but is relishing the opportunity to be back in the Cherry and White shirt.
Speaking to the press, Heinz addressed Gloucester Rugby’s recent results, the upcoming fixture against London Irish and his return from injury.
Returning from injury
“It’s always frustrating when you’re out injured and this time around it was a lengthy lay off. It was awesome to be back out there. I was pretty nervous beforehand, but it was awesome to be back out at Kingsholm. It was a little bit strange as it was my first time at Kingsholm with no crowd so it was a little bit weird! Awesome to be back playing with the boys, albeit not a great result.”
Assessing his performance against Saints
“You always struggle a little bit with match fitness for the first couple of games. I’ve been training hard away from the team sessions but nothing really prepares you for the games. It’ll take a couple of weeks to get that real sharpness that I’m looking for but I thought my core roles were reasonable but there are still a few things that I would like to improve on and hopefully I can stay on the pitch a bit longer as well in the coming weeks.”
On the Northampton result
“We got ourselves into a decent position early on in that second half and perhaps some boys at certain points thought that it was just going to kick on from there. That’s not the case in this league. It’s so close and teams are so competitive that if you switch off, you get made to pay.
“We have had that message loud and clear in training this week and hopefully we see a real response this weekend.”
On disappointing results
“As players we are aware but the coaches came in and gave it to us between the eyes to be honest and that is what we needed.
“After a performance like that you have got to put your hand up and be accountable for the things that aren’t good enough and we pride ourselves on being a hard working team and there were a few moments in that game that weren’t up to scratch.”
Looking at the positives
“There’s parts of our game that have been pretty effective. Not just from the weekend but over the course of the season there’s been some things that we’ve been working hard on. Our set piece has been functioning pretty well. The lineout wobbled a little bit at the weekend but that’s been functioning pretty well for us. Our defence, when we get it right, has been a real weapon but there have been moments where a few players might switch off for a moment and you get made to pay.”
On London Irish
“They’ve had a couple of good results recently. They played pretty well at their new stadium at the weekend. They’ll be full of confidence and they’ve got a quality side full of internationals sprinkled throughout the squad.
“Skivs (George Skivington) obviously knows them pretty well from his time there but we’re really trying to focus on getting our parts of our game in order, those attitude things and that mindset shift that we need to take down there to get a result.”
“You’ve got to know the opposition. We always do our homework and understand the trends in their game and understand the things that they do really well but also the little chinks in their armour. We’ve been looking at that over the past couple of days but 80% of the focus has got to be on us.”
A message to the fans
“We’re under no illusion that the fans will be really disappointed with where we are in the table but also the performance at the weekend. All I can say is, on behalf of the squad, that we are working really hard. I know that the results haven’t been coming but I can assure you that everybody is digging in and we’re keeping each other accountable. I’m sure that if we keep the attitude and we keep working hard then we can turn these results around in the next few weeks.”