Hudson wants to give Gloucester something to shout about
9:28am Friday 11th October 2013 in Sport
IT’S BEEN a while since James Hudson had the taste of Heineken Cup rugby, but the Gloucester lock admits he is only going to be able to savour his return if he gives the Kingsholm faithful something to shout about.
Although Hudson is able to boast having 37 European appearances under his belt, his last Heineken Cup outing came way back in January 2008 as part of a victorious London Irish side getting one over Benetton Treviso.
Amlin Challenge Cup stints followed with both the Exiles and Newcastle Falcons, before Hudson fell out of the Aviva Premiership with the latter at the end of the 2011-12 season.
But the 31-year-old is back with the Cherry & Whites and all set to strut his stuff on the big stage again as Gloucester entertain Perpignan on Saturday.
Kingsholm hasn’t quite been the fortress we are used to so far this season with Sale Sharks coming away with an opening day win before the Exeter Chiefs left convincing 29-12 winners on Sunday – with a narrow 26-24 victory over Northampton Saints sandwiched in between.
And while Hudson is itching to get back under the Heineken Cup spotlight he insists the desire to repay the Gloucester fans means he is not prepared to simply make up the numbers, “I think the Heineken Cup has come at a good time for us and everyone is determined to make amends for the Exeter defeat,” he said.
“Against Exeter we just didn’t hold the ball for long periods of time and they did and it was a really disappointing performance.
“But everyone at the club worked hard last season to get back into the Heineken Cup and while it is a success to simply be playing in the tournament we want to make sure it doesn’t go to waste.
“The boys here worked incredibly hard last season to get back into the competition and it is exciting for me on a personal level because while I have played in the Heineken Cup before it has been a while since the last time.
“It is an awesome competition and great to be playing in it but we feel like we owe our fans after a couple of poor home performances so we will be going against Perpignan looking to give them plenty to cheer about again.”
It is often when the Heineken Cup comes into play that the Aviva Premiership truly begins to take shape, with squads often stretched trying to win battles on both domestic and European fronts.
But with Gloucester currently languishing down in tenth in the Aviva Premiership, Hudson believes the club can start looking up rather than down with them having the numbers to more than compete in both competitions.
“We have got great squad depth this season and while everyone knows about our young guys at the back, we have a lot of promising forwards who are pushing for places,” he added.
“These guys are starting to appear in a few matchday squads and fighting hard for opportunities to get some game time and pushing those in front of them.
“You have to have a squad that is able to compete on both fronts and I firmly believe that at Gloucester we have exactly that.”
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