After a testing start to the season, Gloucester Rugby scrum-half Dan Robson is confident he can exploit the chance of a first-team run in the absence of Scotland international Greig Laidlaw.
Despite five appearances in the first six Aviva Premiership Rugby games this year, Robson has made only one start – in his side’s 46-10 triumph over London Welsh in round four.
The 22-year-old represented England in a non-cap friendly against the Barbarians at Twickenham in June but has faced a tough battle for his club’s No.9 jersey since the summer arrival of Laidlaw from Edinburgh.
While Robson admitted his frustration, he insists he is spurred on by Laidlaw’s form at club and international level and enjoyed his rival’s starring role in Scotland’s recent victory over Argentina.
Yet the England Saxons scrum-half is determined to give Cherry & Whites director of rugby David Humphreys a selection headache by the time Laidlaw returns from international duties.
“It has been massively frustrating this season because I want to be starting and getting game time but I’ve got to be patient and take my chance with both hands,” he said.
“Greig has been playing very well for Scotland and will be involved throughout the autumn so it’s an opportunity for me to step up and show what I can do.
“We’re all supportive of our rivals for places here so it’s great to see him doing so well and carrying his club form onto the international stage.
“It’s been tough but I’m making no decisions on my future at the moment as I’m just focused on getting my head down and hopefully securing some more game time.
“We’re all looking forward to the next few games and want to show the strength in depth of our squad. A lot of people are getting a chance to step up and I’m sure we’ll all take it.”
Gloucester face a tough examination of their squad without their internationals when they host Harlequins on Friday night but Robson believes a packed-out Kingsholm will inspire his side to success.
And although Robson is focused on helping the Cherry & Whites’ much-vaunted back line to fire, he is also aware of the crucial role the Gloucester pack will play as the weather turns.
“We’ve got a massive game against and it’s great to play on Friday nights, especially at Kingsholm – we’ll have pretty much a full house and these are the games that stick in your mind,” he added.
“I’ve got to be that link man and transfer the tempo from the forwards to the backs. We’ve got a very exciting back line including some very dangerous players.
“We’re confident of scoring tries against all opposition but the weather is going to worsen over the next few weeks and the forwards will probably be the ones to win games.
“But the backs also need to step up in those physical battles and take any chances when they get them.”
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