From the rock-hard pitches of Sydney to The Shed at Kingsholm, Gloucester Rugby’s Cameron Orr has come a long way in six months.
Having moved from the Greater Sydney Rams during the summer, the 21-year-old prop has hit the ground running at Gloucester with six appearances off the bench to his name so far, four of those coming in Aviva Premiership Rugby.
The former Australia under-20s starlet has two wily and experienced front-row professionals in John Afoa and Richard Hibbard to learn from and hone his craft at the Cherry & Whites.
While he admits speaking to his brother Harrison – who is now at Newcastle Falcons having himself moved from Ealing Trailfinders in the summer – had a hand in his move across the globe, it was the lure of working with Gloucester’s scrum guru Laurie Fisher that was the icing on the cake.
And with a handful of games under his belt already at the top table of English rugby, Orr is desperate to keep on improving in the coming weeks.
“I’ve had a few appearances now in a Gloucester shirt and I’m enjoying every minute of it,” he said.
“This is a really, really strong outfit and a good bunch of guys, so over the next few weeks it’s about really improving and fix the little errors that might have cost us in recent weeks.
— Cameron Orr (@cammyorr95) October 22, 2016
“I’m just trying to put my best foot forward and trying to do my very best, and I am still learning lots and lots, enjoying every moment and relishing every opportunity that I get.
“I’m just trying to make the most of it; guys like John Afoa and Richard Hibbard have been huge teachers for me on little parts of the game that I never would have thought had an effect.
“They are real big motivators, and great leaders like Greig Laidlaw and James Hook have had a big influence on me as well – even if we are not in the same position they are helping me get into the right areas and putting my best foot forward.
“It’s been a big change moving here, and the style of play here is quite different to back in Australia, with a lot more emphasis on the set-piece and the strength of your forwards.
“That is an area where I really want to improve so I can bring some real class when I get on the field and support the other guys.”
Gloucester welcome defending champions Saracens to Kingsholm this weekend as the Anglo-Welsh Cup returns after a year’s hiatus, and Orr is hopeful he may get the chance to start in front of The Shed for the very first time.
The importance of the competition is certainly not lost on Aviva Premiership Rugby champions and current leaders Saracens – who before their success in 2014 had not claimed any silverware since 2011.
— Motu Matu’u (@motz02) October 14, 2016
But a trophy-laden 18 months has followed, and Orr is not expecting Mark McCall’s star-studded squad to take it easy this weekend.
He added: “If the opportunity [to start] comes I can’t wait. I’d love to get some good game-time against Saracens as it’s a massive game.
“They are a big pack who will want to dominate up front, so I want to do my part to try and counter that, and whoever gets chosen will be in that mindset.
“We know they are strong throughout every competition they take part in, and they will not take this game any differently to a Premiership Rugby match.
“Sarries will go at us up front and really try to take us apart, but what we are learning here, we are hoping to play some really good rugby with some really good set-piece to counter that.”
The Anglo-Welsh Cup kicks off this weekend and for all the fixtures and details of the Final at the Twickenham Stoop on 19 March see www.new-heroes.com