It is a very busy six days for Gloucester Rugby with three games to play but flanker Jacob Rowan is confident his side have the strength in depth to cope.
The 25-year-old captained his side to victory over Zebre on Saturday in their European Challenge Cup opener at Kingsholm.
Tuesday night welcomes the Barbarians to town before on Thursday they are in France to take on La Rochelle in their second European game.
The packed schedule is not ideal for the Cherry & Whites who are the defending Challenge Cup champions after beating Edinburgh in last season’s final.
But with Aviva Premiership Rugby soon to return, Rowan and his teammates are desperate to keep their form going.
“It’s a big test for us, we have a lot of rugby this week but the coaches have put a program for the week together and hopefully we can keep the winning momentum going and take it back into the Premiership,” he said.
“Some people don’t get as many minutes as others so this is a chance for a bit of squad rotation for guys to show what they can do.
“There is amazing depth here, you only have to look at the squad around you in training to see that.
“It’s a long season, especially with the World Cup and the new structure with game after game so it will be a squad effort.
“It was good to be given the captain’s armband and the honour of leading out the team. It was a good performance against Zebre, particularly in the first half.
“It was a bit disappointing that we could not go on and get the bonus point but Zebre are a good outfit who have been on good form in their league.
“For us it was about getting the win and we can work on the few things that went wrong.”
Rowan is not involved on Tuesday night against the Baa Baas but looks set to return to action on Thursday night in France and the former Leeds flanker is confident his side are up to the defence of their crown.
“We have done as much as we can to learn about them (Stade Rochelais), with a week like we have there has been more time for analysis as we have not been out on the pitch as much,” he added.
“They have got a big strong back and quality players throughout the team.
“France is a very tough place to go, but we showed from our games last year in Europe that we know what we can do and will be confident of going out and doing it.
“Of course we want to retain it but it will be tough. There are some good teams in the competition but as long as we play our game and put ourselves in the right position we are in with a chance.”
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