Fixtures - Top Bar

Atkinson determined to make his mark at Gloucester Rugby

It’s been a long road back to Aviva Premiership Rugby for Mark Atkinson – but the Gloucester Rugby centre says he now intends to stick around for the long term.

Atkinson had stints at Sale Sharks and Wasps before moving down the ladder to Esher in 2011 and then Bedford Blues in 2012.

However, the 24-year-old fought his way back to the top-flight and earned himself a move to the Cherry & Whites at the start of this season.

Since then Atkinson has battled his way into the starting fold and posted a series of impressive performances, racking up 80 minutes in six of Gloucester’s last seven Aviva Premiership Rugby outings.

And, while Atkinson might not be entirely accustomed to starting at 13, he insists he is more than happy to be able to do a job for the team.

“For me it’s been great to get back to the Premiership and recently to have been able to get so many minutes under my belt,” he said.

“It’s a position I haven’t played before but there are lots of cross-over skills and having internationals all around me makes it a lot easier for me.

“Plus I have Billy inside me and he has played there before so all that makes the transition better, and if it means I play then I’m happy to do it.

“I would like to think that now I’m back in the Premiership it’s somewhere that I’ll be able to stay.

“It has taken a long time to get back here and I’m loving it now that I am. I wouldn’t want to lose that.”

It wasn’t the easiest start to the Aviva Premiership Rugby season for Gloucester who only won four of their opening 11 fixtures.

However, the second-half of the season could be much more fruitful with Atkinson and co already notching up narrow wins against Exeter Chiefs and Saracens since the turn of the year.

And, with a break from league action the centre believes his team can capitalise on their momentum.

Currently sitting atop of their European Challenge Cup group, the Cherry & Whites have the chance to clinch top-spot when they entertain Oyonnax next time out – something Atkinson is relishing.

“It was massive for us to get back-to-back wins in the Premiership and especially in the manner that we did it.

“The coaches would probably say that we didn’t need that two weeks in a row and it might have been hard for the fans but it’s great for us.

“Games have slipped away from us but we showed our strength to get over the line in those matches.

“I think that heading into the break it’s nice to be able to put the Premiership to bed knowing we are in a better position.

“We can take that momentum with us and not worry about maybe not having won for a while.

“Now we are in a good position in Europe and we’ll go out there knowing that we have a chance to qualify and hopefully do that.” 

Get 20 per cent off a limited number of tickets to the Aviva Premiership Rugby Final 2015. Visit http://www.tickethour.co.uk/premierrugby/ to take advantage of this great offer.
 

Latest News

Gary Gold to become Worcester Warriors’ permanent Director of Rugby

Worcester Warriors are delighted to announce that Gary Gold will become the Club’s permanent Director of Rugby after signing a…

Gary Gold

Round 21 Preview: Bath Rugby v Gloucester Rugby

Bath Rugby’s only victory in the last five rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby was 27-21 over Leicester Tigers at Twickenham…

Bath v Gloucester

Round 21 Preview: Saracens v Bristol Rugby

Saracens have won their last five first team matches since their defeat to Leicester at Allianz Park in the semi-final…

Saracens v Bristol

Round 21 Preview: Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks

Leicester Tigers have suffered just two reversals in the last seven rounds of Aviva Premiership Rugby: at home to Exeter…

Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks

Round 21 Preview: Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints

Exeter Chiefs have won their last six matches in Aviva Premiership Rugby gaining a maximum 30 league points – no…

Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints

Round 21 Preview: Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors

Newcastle Falcons have won just one of their last five Aviva Premiership Rugby matches: 16-14 at home to Gloucester Rugby…

Newcastle Falcons v Worcester Warriors

Round 21 Preview: Harlequins v Wasps

Harlequins have lost their last two Aviva Premiership Rugby matches, to Saracens and Exeter Chiefs, but have not lost three…

Harlequins v Wasps

Northampton Wanderers face Gloucester United in Aviva A League final

Northampton Wanderers will meet Gloucester United in the Aviva A League final on Monday 1 May (3pm) at Franklin's Gardens…

Ellis Genge agrees new contract terms at Leicester Tigers

England international prop Ellis Genge has agreed new contract terms at Leicester Tigers. Genge, 22, arrived at Tigers during the…

Ellis Genge

Billy Vunipola, Billy Burns, Ben Morgan and Francois Louw top the OPTA Rugby Rankings

Billy Vunipola was a force to be reckoned with as Saracens booked their place as Aviva Premiership Rugby’s representatives in…

Meet Sale Sharks’ Curry twins – Ben and Tom

When Tom and Ben Curry travel with the England squad to Argentina, they will be looking to claim a record…

Ben and Tom Curry

Aviva Premiership Rugby European wrap: Saracens make final as Bath fall short

Aviva Premiership Rugby champions Saracens are into their third European Rugby Champions Cup final in four years after defying a…

Karl Dickson to retire at the end of the season

Harlequins scrum-half Karl Dickson has today (Monday 24th April) announced that he will retire from rugby at the end of…

Karl Dickson