RYAN Mills is determined to leave Gloucester with the parting gift of top-level European rugby.
The utility back will join Worcester Warriors in the summer, following an injury plagued four-season stay at Kingsholm.
Ironically he is currently enjoying plenty of game time following Freddie Burns’ alarming loss of form.
And while he admits the timing of his opportunity has been unfortunate, he hopes to spearhead the Cherry and Whites’ climb up the table.
Gloucester currently sit ninth in the Aviva Premiership, two-points behind Saturday’s opponents Exeter Chiefs.
And it could very much be a case of lucky number seven for Gloucester, with the position potentially leading to a European play-off, and Wasps exactly that number away.
Mills said: “I’m loving it at the moment, it’s so nice to be out there on the pitch and performing.
“With the amount of attacking rugby we are playing it’s just a pleasure to be a part of.
“Personally I just want to play as much as I can before I leave.
“I’m really happy with the amount of rugby I’m getting and I’m just trying to enjoy my time left.
“I want to do as well as I can and leave a good impression with the fans, coaches and players here.
“It’s a bit unfortunate that only now I’m getting game time. My broken foot came at the wrong time and meant it was hard for the club to show their commitment to me in game time.
“Now I’m getting that time it’s a little awkward.
“But as a team there’s still a massive amount to play for, Exeter are only two points ahead of us and we’ve set a target of getting to sixth or seventh to have a shot at European rugby next season.
“It’s not very often Gloucester aren’t involved in European competition, it’s absolutely massive for a club like this and means so much to the supporters.”
Mills is set to pull on the number 10 jersey once again on Saturday and the trip down the M5 is a special one for the 21-year-old, who was born in Exeter and came through the Chiefs’ age-grade system.
There will be plenty of familiar faces at the Sandy Park stadium Mills calls home and he admits it will be surreal occasion and knows full well the Chiefs will present a formidable challenge.
He said: “It will be the first time I’ve played Exeter in the Premiership so it will be a nice occasion, especially going home to Sandy Park where I played quite a few games growing up.
“I played there until I was 16 and got into Hartpury College but used to go back and play for Exeter Colts until I went full-time here.
“I’ve played with Henry Slade, Sam Hill, Jack Nowell at Under-20s and then I know Dave Lewis really well from up here.
“So it’s a pretty familiar place for me and all my family have been trying to get hold of tickets but it’s pretty much sold out.
“It’s a local, south-west derby and while it hasn’t got the history of Gloucester versus Bath, it is equally tough and you can’t take them lightly.
“They are a hell of a team, they play some great rugby and it means a lot to the fans.
“With them coming up here and turning us over earlier this season makes it all the more important to make a statement.
“They are quite similar to us that in they want to keep hold of the ball and starve the opposition of possession.
“They are not afraid of playing from all over the pitch, which is similar to us again so it should make for a good game of rugby and it’s usually high scoring.”