London Welsh assistant coach Gordon Ross is happy to be on standby to lace up the boots again this weekend, although the fly-half insists it’s team performances rather than personal statistics that are really occupying his mind.
The 36-year-old former Scotland international had been expected to take a back seat from playing duties this season to instead focus on his role as assistant coach for the Exiles return to Aviva Premiership Rugby.
But with a crippling injury list, including fly halves Olly Barkley and Tristan Roberts both being sidelined, the call was made to Ross to make his first Aviva Premiership Rugby appearance of the season in their 26-5 loss to Leicester Tigers.
Ross produced a man-of-the-match performance in the second leg of the Exiles’ play-off final win over Bristol last June to ensure his side returned to playing Aviva Premiership Rugby at the first time of asking.
And while insisting there was plenty of room for personal improvement from his 67-minute long outing last weekend, Ross knows the whole team needs to keep plugging away as they go in search of their first league win of the season.
“I’m not feeling too bad to be fair after the weekend. It was not as physical as I was expecting,” said Ross, who made his first Aviva Premiership Rugby appearance in 18 months against Leicester Tigers.
“It was frustrating that I put in a few mistakes that I wouldn’t usually do but that was just a bit of rustiness.
“I really enjoyed getting out there playing again and the spirit in the team is clearly still strong.
“I try not to speak to the physios early in the week and just let them get on with it. Obviously it was not great last week with injuries so we will see how things progress this week and whether I’m needed again. I am loving doing the coaching side of things this year though.
“I do remember saying ahead of the season we need to focus on finishing inside the top 11. We are not going to go out there and win every game, that’s clear enough.
“But there are improvements we can make, there were a couple last weekend and if we can continue that, then hopefully we can look to push a little higher.”
While Ross’ appearance could not bring an end to their eight-match losing streak in the league, the scoreboard did at least make for better reading following their heavy 71-7 defeat to London Wasps the weekend before.
And Ross admits they must wipe out the sloppy errors if they want to finally be on the winning side.
“We were 5-5 after 39 minutes but we were not very accurate in the first half and ultimately that cost us. We need to try and cut them out,” he added.
“As a team, we made too many mistakes. I’m not saying we should have beaten Leicester but we should have put them under more pressure. We need to try and get those mistakes out of our system.
“What was encouraging though was that we had a tough time the week before at Wasps but the coaches did very well to get us back out there.”
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