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Gloucester Rugby: No split loyalties for Young

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 31, 2014

Thomas Young has no split loyalties. Copyright Martin Bennett-Gloucester Rugby

THOMAS Young will once again be on water boy duties for Gloucester today but he insists there will be no split loyalties with his father’s team in town.

The Cherry and Whites take on London Wasps, where Dai Young is director of rugby, in the final round of the LV= Cup.

Gloucester captured the former dual-code international’s son earlier this month but he is unavailable for Anglo-Welsh cup action having already represented Cardiff Blues in the competition.

Young senior has already attempted to tap into his son’s knowledge ahead of the trip to Kingsholm but Gloucester’s new boy has stayed true to his colours.

He said: “I’d obviously like to be playing but it’s a bit of a blessing to get two weeks of training under my belt here before playing a game.

“I spoke to my old man on Tuesday and he was trying to get stuff out of me, but there was no chance, he wasn’t having it.

“But I do hope the boys can do one over my old man – that should give a bit of banter in the house.”

Young grew increasingly frustrated after being starved of regular rugby at the Arms Park due to a wealth of resources at openside.

As well as British and Irish Lions captain Sam Warburton, the Welsh region boast fellow international Josh Navidi and last year’s Wales Under-20s captain Ellis Jenkins.

That saw Young play semi-professional rugby with Pontypridd but he is relishing his second chance at the top and hopes to be involved in next week’s Premiership clash with Sale Sharks.

He has signed an initial deal until the end of the season and is well aware of the competition he faces for a Cherry and White jersey, most notably England flanker Matt Kvesic.

Young said: “It was a frustrating over the last few years at Cardiff, but coming here there’s Matt – another boy I’d have to compete with.

“I have played against Matt few times at age group level. We are similar players in a way, hopefully we can help each other out and help each other play well, and help Gloucester at the same time.

“But I am looking forward to getting a few first team games in here. I would love to be involved against Sale. I want an opportunity next week and if not then soon. I am looking forward to those opportunities.”

And Young reckons he will be able to bring an added dimension to the breakdown – an area where at times Gloucester have struggled this season.

He said: “I hope to bring something a bit different. The Pro12 is different to the Premiership. Hopefully I can learn some things and bring something from Cardiff too to help kick Gloucester on.

“The breakdown in Wales tends to be targeted more. We have been working hard on it here this week too, but hopefully I will be able to throw the ball around a bit as well.”

Young is the fifth Welshman in the Gloucester senior squad and there is a prominent presence from the Principality throughout the coaching team and academy.

And the 21-year-old is expecting plenty of friendly rivalry over the next seven weeks as the Six Nations gets under way.

He added: “When Wales play England, there will be a bit of banter flying around. There are a few Welsh boys up here now, they can’t just pick on one individual, there’s five or six of us and we can give as good as we get. I hope Wales do well again.”

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