Andy Symons admits he finished last weekend with mixed emotions after making his long-awaited Worcester Warriors return in a European Challenge Cup defeat to Gloucester Rugby.
Symons returned from an eight-month injury lay-off in last Thursday's 34-22 European Challenge Cup home loss to the Cherry & Whites.
And while the centre insists he is fitter than ever with his first 80 minutes under his belt – the Warriors hopes of making the European knockout stages are all but over.
However, the Warriors can exact some revenge when they face Gloucester again this weekend with Symons set to start in midfield once again.
“Personally, it was fantastic to get back out there and blow off the cobwebs,” he said.
“It has been a tough road back from a pretty serious injury so it felt great to be out there again with the boys.
“But from a team perspective we were not good enough. We tried to play a bit too much rugby in our own half and Billy Burns won the kicking battle for them.”
Symons will be back in action in partnership with Alex Grove in the Warriors midfield but in Aviva Premiership Rugby the pairing of Ryan Mills and Wynand Olivier appears to be Dean Ryan’s first choice.
And Symons admits he will need to take every chance that comes his way if he is to break back into the first XV at Sixways.
“For me the goal is to be starting every game but there is a lot of competition here and that is important in season like this with so many important games back to back,” he added.
“Guys like Millsy and Wynand have been playing really well so it will be tough to make the breakthrough but if we are putting pressure on them then that is driving standards and that is the most important thing for the club.
“We have got a good strong squad and we back any one to come in and do a job. These European games are a great opportunity for younger guys, guys coming back from injury like myself, and other guys keen to impress to come in and show the coaches what they can do.
“You want to make the most of any chance that comes your way.”
After the Gloucester game, attention will return to the league with the Warriors set to take on Bath Rugby.
And after beating Northampton Saints and running Leicester Tigers extremely close already this campaign – Symons is confident there are more upsets to come.
“We are really happy with where we are, we are very ambitious and we did not come into this league to settle – we want to turn heads and I think we have done that,” added the 24-year-old.
“We need to get that winning mentality, believe in ourselves because we know that we are there or thereabouts in every game.”
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