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Gloucester Rugby: Freddie Burns - let's win derby for Mike Tindall

By The Citizen  |  Posted: February 28, 2013

Freddie Burns

Freddie Burns

Comments (12)

FREDDIE Burns owes Mike Tindall a big debt of gratitude – and is determined to start paying it off at Bath tomorrow night.

When Gloucester centre Tindall joined Bath straight from Wakefield's Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Burns was just seven years old.

Some 16 years later, tomorrow the duo will line up in Gloucester's midfield at The Recreation Ground, a place that holds special memories for both England internationals.

Gloucester fly-half Burns credits Tindall with helping him develop into a top-class playmaker.

And as Tindall gears up for his 150th competitive Cherry and Whites bow, Burns is ready to help England's most-capped centre make it a night to remember.

Bath-born Burns used to jump the fence at The Rec, dreaming of one day turning out for his beloved Blue, Black and Whites.

Combative centre Tindall was one of his first rugby heroes, and now, 22-year-old Burns still cannot quite believe the duo are team-mates.

Gearing up for tomorrow's pivotal Premiership clash (kick-off 8pm), fit-again Burns paid tribute to 34-year-old Tindall's staying power, racking up eight years at Gloucester after the same number at Bath.

Burns explained: "You can't fail to get excited for Bath-Gloucester.

"I was born two miles from the stadium, I used to sneak into games, jump over the fence and stand in the crowd and watch these West Country derbies.

"Playing in these games at The Rec is something I always dreamed of as a kid – but I never really thought it would be in a cherry and white shirt!

"A lot's changed since then and I am absolutely delighted to be with Gloucester now.

"I just want to do my best for the club, because I know how much it means to the supporters.

"It's a huge achievement for Tins.

"Going back to those days when I used to watch Bath as a boy, Tins was playing for Bath back then.

"To be playing alongside him on his 150th cap, it's an honour for me to play there too and be part of that.

"He's someone who has helped me massively in my career, so it would be great to be able to make it a memorable day for him."

Gloucester can register their third-straight Premiership double over bitter rivals Bath tomorrow – but will have to hit back from the humiliation of Bath's 32-5 Kingsholm triumph on February 2.

That LV=Cup hammering might not have affected Gloucester's league standing, but Burns admits it has considerably dented Kingsholm pride.

At The Rec the crowd are so close to the pitch that the players can hear every chant, quip and snarl from the fervent fans.

Some players will try to shut it out – but Burns will try to turn it to his advantage.

In Gloucester's 14-11 league win at The Rec this time last season, Burns missed a straightforward penalty.

He said the only way to stop the errors mounting up is to laugh them off and clear the mind.

He continued: "There's always a different atmosphere to West Country derbies, there's always that little bit more venom in the chants and the 'eeyores' from the crowd.

"So as a player you've got to relish that environment, and I quite enjoy the fact we'll be down there and the majority of the crowd will be against us.

"We'll have a big travelling contingent, don't get me wrong, but it's 23 boys in the squad looking after each other, and it's a great atmosphere to play in.

"As players you can do one of two things: you can shut it out and stay focused, or you can embrace it and let it spur your performance.

"And I'm definitely the sort of player to let it all in – you try to milk the atmosphere to your advantage.

"I don't mind a bit of banter with the crowd which is nice.

"I'll just relish it, and hopefully if we're playing well then it's all a bit rosier.

"Each to their own: some boys will want to let it all go, some players will shut everything down if they make a mistake and try to shake it off.

"If I make a mistake, I am furious with myself, but I try to laugh it off – because that's how I get over mistakes, get past them and regain composure.

"Last year at The Rec I missed a kick in front of the posts right on the edge of the 22, so you can't let it eat you up, you've got to move on quickly."

Burns believes Gloucester must harness the hurt from that 32-5 Bath humbling – but not be consumed by it.

He added: "We were dominated in every aspect, and it was embarrassing.

"But the boys know they have a chance to put it right.

"Nigel played it down straight after the game, because of our massive task at Northampton.

"He's brought it up again this week, he's played it right and now everyone is fired up for tomorrow.

"It's great motivation, but it won't be a driving factor on the day."

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  • RoryGlaws  |  February 28 2013, 10:29PM

    Harden is a superb tighthead and was having a marvellous game yesterday, just as he has been all season.

    Rate   6
  • Buggsie  |  February 28 2013, 10:28PM

    Yep! Our scrum is always underpowered when Harden isn't in there propping.

    Rate   6
  • JBuddy  |  February 28 2013, 10:26PM

    Rupert harden = Top man = Top tight head = Gloucester Rugby's first choice tight head

    Rate   7
  • Newilldon  |  February 28 2013, 10:24PM

    Let's face it, Gloucester's scrum is never the same without Rupert Harden anchoring it. Nigel Davies knows that which is why he (and not the clueless multi-identitied troll glawsteruk1/JohnBingle/akadau/flanker_6/etc.) selects Harden to start in the tough, critical games.

    Rate   7
  • Steve_Bronko  |  February 28 2013, 10:21PM

    Our top rated tight head, Harden, really turned on the style last Friday (obviously the troll glawsteruk1/JohnBingle/akadau/flanker_6 never saw it as he never goes to any Gloucester games). Harden makes selection forthe starting tight head position so easy for Nigel Davies.

    Rate   6
  • Roon77  |  February 28 2013, 10:19PM

    Another marvellous performance from Harden last Friday. You had to be there to see it which Glawsteruk1 obviously wasn't. He was tucked up in his little room at his home for desperate lonely old men, just as he always is at the weekend.

    Rate   6
  • Brasher  |  February 28 2013, 10:16PM

    The Harden hating troll (glawsteruk1/flanker_6/akadau/glasteruk1/etc.) really can't get over the fact that Nigel Davies considers Harden to be his top rated tight head, otherwise, why has he started Harden for 12 out of 16 Premiership games this season, plus two others? The reason is patently obvious (unless you are the troll glawsteruk1 and you think you are better than Nigel Davies), Harden is his best tight head and the go to man when there is a tough job that needs doing and one that needs doing well.

    Rate   6
  • LucaTowers  |  February 28 2013, 10:13PM

    Harden = Gloucester Rugby's first choice tight head. No doubt about it!

    Rate   6
  • Steve_George  |  February 28 2013, 10:12PM

    Harden is the number 1 tight head at Gloucester Rugby. If the troll glawsteruk1 ever gets to a Gloucester Rugby game he could see that for himself but he never goes to any games.

    Rate   6
  • CurtDowne  |  February 28 2013, 10:10PM

    Laugh at the sad old irrelevant Gloucester Rugby and Rupert Harden hating multi-troll glawsteruk1. He hasn't got the slightest clue about rugby which is why he turns up just to troll. What a sad old dear he is!

    Rate   6