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Gloucester Rugby: Freddie Burns keen to form a midfield with Ryan Mills

By The Citizen  |  Posted: March 08, 2013

magic:  Freddie Burns

magic: Freddie Burns

Comments (12)

FREDDIE Burns cannot wait to conjure some midfield magic with 'top-class' Gloucester centre Ryan Mills.

Excited fly-half Burns expects to thrive on the Cherry and Whites' breadth and depth of attacking options in the centres.

New England man Burns has elevated his approach to new levels this term, thanks in part to the summer arrival of shrewd playmaker Billy Twelvetrees from Leicester.

Bath-born Burns credits muscular pivot Twelvetrees with helping him round out his game.

But now the maverick 22-year-old attacking talent believes fit-again Mills can offer just as potent a front-foot threat.

And he is itching to team up with highly-rated 20-year-old Mills in Gloucester's inside backs.

Burns explained: "Millsy is a quality player, top class, and he's shown what he can do at ten, even though that's not his natural position and one he doesn't enjoy playing as much.

"He enjoys playing 12 more, that's his natural position and the one that he knows best.

"But just look at what he can do at ten. He has really stepped up and handled things fantastically in the last month or so.

"He's one of those guys who has time on the ball and is able to pick out exactly the right call and either break himself or bring other players into the game and get them across the gain line."

Surgery to repair a knee defect sidelined Mills from August to January.

The England Under-20s cap has featured in Gloucester's last six clashes since finding fitness, though, drawing praise from all quarters.

Natural centre Mills has had to slot into the fly-half role, with Burns and Twelvetrees both either injured or on England duty, and Tim Taylor out for the season after knee surgery.

Mills replaced Burns in Friday's 31-25 Premiership defeat at Bath, and so far the two men have not combined in Gloucester action this season.

That prospect is surely just a matter of time, though, and it is a thought that has Burns purring about the possibilities.

Hailing Mills' versatility and assurance, Burns continued: "Playing alongside him with him at 12, that would be great.

"I can't wait for that to happen, it's clearly going to at some point soon, and it would be seriously exciting.

"It's been brilliant lining up alongside Billy, because we've gained a huge understanding there this season as we have become accustomed to each other's styles.

"I've said it before, but Billy has really helped me kick on, and I can't praise him enough for how he's settled in and really taken to life at Gloucester."

Finding plenty of similarities between Mills and 24-year-old Twelvetrees, Burns said when he runs through Gloucester's rich backline talent, it feeds him with confidence for a fruitful Kingsholm future.

He added: "Ryan's really pushing Billy and the rest of the boys for that 12 shirt.

"I know Nigel is a big fan of his talents, and it will be great to see how he develops over the next few years, because it's going to be a pretty rapid progression for him, I reckon.

"He's similar to Billy in that he loves the attacking side of the game, he loves the physical stuff.

"He can hit the line hard or he can help others make breaks.

"I think there could be some great attacking rugby in the offing with him in the side.

"When you look at the backline options that Gloucester have got, I firmly believe they are right up there with the best around.

"As everyone gains experience and becomes more comfortably operating in the small units, we're only going to get better and better."

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12 comments

  • Luca_Towers  |  March 10 2013, 8:57AM

    The troll akadau with his multitude of identities simply can not get over the fact that Rupert Harden is the best tight head at Gloucester. But who cares what the troll akadau thinks? Nigel Davies has an infinitely superior rugby brain to the troll akadau (though the troll akadau will, hilariously, claim differently) and ND has made Harden his number 1 tight head.

    |   8
  • walker1108  |  March 10 2013, 8:54AM

    We can well do without our scrum disastrously folding as it did in that last scrum against Sarries and in every scrum in those first 50 minutes at Welford Road. That is why we need Rupert Harden, our first choice and most proficient tight head, out on the field in the final games of the season.

    |   7
  • RubinHall  |  March 10 2013, 8:50AM

    Nigel Davies, that astute and knowledgeable DoR at Gloucester Rugby has made Harden his first choice tight-head, selecting Harden to start 13 out of 17 Premiership games. Says it all, really. The Gloucester Rugby and Rupert Harden hating multi-troll and sad irrelevant old man, akadau, can moan and whinge all he likes, but he can't change the facts.

    |   6
  • Cam-Campbell  |  March 10 2013, 8:46AM

    Harden owns the number 3 shirt. He has no real competition for it.

    |   7
  • werrew  |  March 10 2013, 8:43AM

    ...But didn't you know? The troll akadau, reckons he knows better than the rugby-wise professional coach and DoR of Gloucester Rugby.

    |   6
  • Deadeye_Glawz  |  March 10 2013, 8:41AM

    Nigel Davies picks the team. He has a choice of tight heads, yet, when it comes to the key games, he always goes for Harden.

    |   8
  • Karbonne  |  March 10 2013, 8:40AM

    Rupert Harden has 13 starts out of 17 premiership games for Gloucester this season, plus another two. That makes him the top rated tight head at Gloucester in anyone's books (except for the sad troll akadau who is pretty clueless about everything, really).

    |   6
  • sam-silent  |  March 10 2013, 8:38AM

    Harden has been having a storming season. It is no wonder he has been selected to start the most games of all the front row forwards. And not just any old games. It has been the key games where you need your best players.

    |   7
  • richardenton  |  March 10 2013, 8:36AM

    Rupert Harden is an utterly brilliant tight head and Nigel Davies knows it, hence 13 out of 17 Premiership starts.

    |   6
  • TuffleyRader  |  March 10 2013, 8:27AM

    The Gloucester Rugby hating multi-ID troll akadau is struggling to keep up with the pace. That is because he is a sad old man who is well past it. He doesn't even know where Gloucester is and he can't even spell it correctly. He certainly doesn't go to any Gloucester Rugby games and his home for sad old shrivelled up men isn't within a 1000 miles of Kingsholm.

    |   7

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