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Gloucester Rugby: Edmonds relishing reunion

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 01, 2014

Edmonds is relishing his reunion with Schalk Brits

Edmonds is relishing his reunion with Schalk Brits

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HUIA Edmonds is relishing a reunion with old pal Schalk Brits when Gloucester face Saracens on Saturday.

The duo competed for the number two jersey at the Stormers in South Africa and also played against each other in Super Rugby.

Edmonds rates Brits as one of the finest in Europe but is ready to match his fellow hooker’s irrepressible work-rate at Kingsholm.

He said: “We’ve known each other many years and played in the same team a few years back. I have a very good relationship with Schalk and will certainly be sending him a couple of messages this week.

“He’s a great player. We have the same sort of game and are very much running hookers so it will be good to go up against him if selected.

“They’re top of the league for one reason and it starts with their dominant forward pack. They get good go forward ball for their backs to finish opportunities off. We have to stop that.”

Edmonds picked up the man-of-the-match award following his all action performance in the 22-19 victory over London Irish and almost capped the display with a thrilling try .

The 32-year-old burst clear from an inside pass from Jimmy Cowan inside Gloucester’s own twenty-two and chipped over Wallaby star James O’Connor. Amazingly he out-paced the full-back and collected the ball only to be robbed of possession.

It was a rare bright spot in an error-strewn game but the well-travelled hooker admits he has been driven on by the competition of Darren Dawidiuk, who scooped the man-of-the-match gong against Worcester Warriors.

Edmonds said: “I thought why not give it a go but unfortunately came up short. I thought I had the ball but woke up from a little slumber and James had it!

“Throughout my career I have had competition with the likes of Stephen Moore back home and it’s a good thing for the team. Darren definitely pushes me to another level.

“We have a good relationship and whoever gets picked will have the help and support of the other. It’s a team effort and if he starts one week I will support him and vice versa.

“I’m just happy we have kept the man-of-the-match award in the hooker family – hopefully one of us can hang onto it next week.”

Edmonds is out of contract in the summer and the arrival of Richard Hibbard would suggest he will not be retained at Kingsholm.

But the New Zealand-born former Wallaby remains fully committed to the cause and reckons their back-to-back victories over Christmas prove they are heading in the right direction.

He said: “It’s been a rocky season but in the last two weeks we have come away with eight points and couldn’t be happier. We have to take it week by week but we were really glad to get another win.

“When they scored that final try we had a chat beneath the posts and said ‘there’s just five minutes to go, lets dig in deep and hang on’ and our defence was good and stepped up another level.

“We would probably have lost that earlier in the season but we had a good structure in our defensive line and it won us the game.

“I was very happy with the forward pack and have been for the last four weeks especially against Edinburgh and Worcester. It started off a bit shaky but it’s a long season and we’re taking steps and climbing the ladder.”

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  • Rory-GIaws  |  January 02 2014, 5:05PM

    The best way of beating Saracens is for the club to ensure that Rupҽrt Hardҽn, our best and most talented tight head prop, gets onto the pitch ASAP and for him to play as long as possible.

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