Billy Burns insists he is thriving under the pressure of pulling the strings at fly-half for Gloucester Rugby.
Ahead of their European Rugby Champions Cup fixture against La Rochelle at Kingsholm this weekend, Burns is constantly looking to improve his decisions in the pressure cooker atmosphere.
And the 21-year-old believes his decision-making can only improve playing alongside some of the experienced international backs at the club’s disposal.
“I relish that decision making role, it’s what nines and tens get paid to do,” Burns said.
“It’s something that we massively enjoy and there’s nothing better than coming off after a good win, after managing the game and conditions well.
“It’s a great thing to be able to do, it’s tough and obviously a lot of it comes with experience.
“The more you play, the more you learn how to get yourself out of certain situations and get your team on the front foot.
“I’ve got my feet firmly on the ground and I’ll try to take every game as I can and improve that game management role.
“Obviously it’s made a lot easier when there’s people like Greig Laidlaw inside you and Billy Twelvetrees outside you. I’ll do all I can to learn from these games and hopefully progress.”
With James Hook also available for selection at fly-half, Burns is finding Aviva Premiership Rugby game time difficult to come by, so Europe presents the perfect opportunity for him to stake his claim.
Gloucester Rugby have been on an impressive run of form of late, losing their first game in any competition since late November last time out against Exeter Chiefs at Sandy Park.
However, Burns isn’t underestimating Pool 4 opponents La Rochelle, who head into the European break ninth in the Top 14 table.
“The coaches have always put trust in me, they have faith in me to come off the bench at the moment to try to change games or see games out so I’ve got to repay that faith,” he added.
“We’re massively enjoying the Champions Cup and every game we get we want to grab them by the scruff of the neck.
“We’ve got massive respect for La Rochelle, but the target is to go and win the game. We’ll take it as it comes, they’re going to be a massively physical outfit.
“They took us down to the wire at their place and we know that they’re really going to choke us.
“It would be rude to say we’re going out there to look for a bonus point win. We’re just going out there to win the game and we want to win the game in style and hopefully score some tries.”