GARETH Evans has warned Ben Morgan that he will not give up the Gloucester number eight jersey without a fight.
The 22-year-old has been one of the finds of the season for the Cherry and Whites and has deputised with aplomb for England star Morgan.
Morgan came off the bench for the final 20-minutes of Gloucester’s bonus-point victory over Newcastle Falcons and could be in line to start against Exeter Chiefs on Saturday.
But Evans is loving his run of games and despite learning a huge amount from Morgan, he is determined to keep his mentor on the bench.
He said: “Ben had a really good Six Nations, he stepped up well when he was starting and it’s great to have him back in the squad.
“Obviously it puts that pressure on me to perform if I want to keep my shirt but that can only be helpful for us and the development of the squad.
“It’s great having a player like him around, you can ask anyone, if you have a player in your position that is in the England squad, it not only puts pressure on you but they will have bits and pieces they can teach and pass on.
“But I certainly don’t want to give that jersey up, I’m enjoying starting and will do everything I can to keep hold of that shirt.”
Evans had a quieter outing against the Falcons but still made numerous yards and a superb early break and offload put the visitors on the racks.
He left the pitch with the Cherry and Whites 32-7 ahead, and will be grateful not to have been part of the 18 minute horror show at the end, but knows there are no collective excuses.
Evans added: “We can pat ourselves on the back for the first 65 minutes or so, we did everything we said we wanted to do and then just went off the boil.
“We had a yellow card early doors and we dealt with it very well, we used our lineout drive, got field position and ended up scoring.”