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Gloucester Rugby: Jimmy Cowan sets sights on silverware as he confirms departure

By The Citizen  |  Posted: April 01, 2014

Jimmy Cowan in action against Exeter Chiefs on the weekend

JIMMY Cowan has confirmed he will depart Gloucester in the summer and he is determined to do so with silverware.

The former All Black revealed in December that he had not been offered fresh terms by the Cherry and Whites.

He has a number of verbal offers from clubs in France and nothing is set in stone – apart from his desire to quit Kingsholm on a positive note.

Cowan said: “I won’t be back in Gloucester unfortunately. I don’t know where I will be next season, I’m just going through that process now. There’s nothing fixed on paper but verbally I have offers.

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“Looking back they haven’t won a lot over the last few years and with the nucleolus of the team, a lot of young boys, we really want to win something. It would mean a lot to finish on a high here.”

Gloucester face London Wasps in an Amlin Challenge Cup quarter-final on Sunday and the second-tier European competition remains their only opportunity to secure silverware.

Cowan, who won the World Cup with New Zealand in 2011, has added no trophies to his glittering CV since joining the Cherry and Whites.

But following the club’s thrilling Premiership victory over Exeter Chiefs on Saturday, the scrum-half is confident they can push for glory.

He said: “We play to win, you never go out to come second and this has been a disappointing year but we’re coming back, we’ve had two good wins on the trot and there’s plenty to play for with the quarter-final.

“You play the game for these type of occasions, I’m really looking forward to it and it’s a great chance to win some silverware for the club.

“Everyone involved in the club wants to win trophies, that’s why we play the game and to still be in the position to do that next week is something we are gunning for. We will go out all guns blazing against Wasps.”

Gloucester did it the hard way against the Devon club with Don Armand’s injury-time try setting up a tense finale.

Last season Nigel Davies’ men lost to the Chiefs to a last-gasp Gareth Steenson kick and it appeared the fly-half would put the boot to the Cherry and Whites once again but he uncharacteristically fired wide in blustery conditions.

Cowan could not believe Gloucester’s luck but he insists they deserved to take the spoils as they leap-frogged their West Country rivals in the Premiership table.

He said: “I was sitting there thinking it was going to go over because he is such a class kicker and he had the wind with him. I thought that was it and the game was over but thankfully we came out on the right end of the scale and in fairness we deserved the win.

“We never do things the easy way but we probably played the better rugby over the 80 minutes. We were lucky to get the win in the end but we deserved it.

“It wasn’t nice for everyone involved and the supporters but we got the win and the four points. Sandy Park is a difficult place to play, they are very tough at home and have fantastic support. To get four points and jump ahead of them in the table is massive.”

Gloucester now sit eighth and just three-points adrift of Wasps in the all-important seventh position which could result in a play-off for next season’s top-tier European tournament.

They will undoubtedly take great confidence from the win, which avenged two previous defeats, but Cowan admits the way Gloucester have been finishing encounters is becoming a concern.

He added: “It was a game we really targeted, they were two points ahead of us and with the way the European situation is panning out, it looks as though 7th will get a position. So that’s what we’re gunning for and got off to a good start at Exeter.

“We’re slowly starting to build, we have five games left and hopefully we can finish the season on a real high.

“You look at our games over the last month and we haven’t finished well, Northampton away, Newcastle last week and there were some critical errors in our structure that let Exeter back into the game.

“It’s living and learning and we will get back to the drawing board this week. We’ve been written off but we know what we have to do and hopefully we can have a good finish to the season.”

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