James Simpson-Daniel set for Gloucester milestone
THIS Friday’s West Country Bath versus Gloucester derby is made all the more special as it will see James Simpson-Daniel make his 183rd Premiership appearance for Gloucester.
It means the winger overtakes Peter Buxton to become the club’s top league appearance maker and teammate Jimmy Cowan is keen to mark the milestone in style.
He said: “It is a remarkable achievement for James and since I have arrived he has been fantastic and a real inspiration in the group,” he added.
“He never ceases to amaze me and I actually think he is getting better with age and certainly think he has a few more years left in him yet.
“I am just amazed he doesn’t have more England Tests to his name and I certainly think he should so it is a shame, but all the boys are keen to give him something to really celebrate on Friday as we look to beat Bath.”
Cowan knows how important it is to get off to a fast start in a West Country derby, the memories of a nightmare introduction to life in the Aviva Premiership still fresh in the Gloucester scrum-half’s mind.
All eyes were on Cowan at Kingsholm just over a year ago as the World Cup winner was donning the Cherry & White jersey for the first time against arch-rivals Bath.
But it was fellow Kiwi Stephen Donald who stole the immediate limelight as he raced away to score a try for Bath with less than a minute on the clock.
However Cowan did get the last laugh as he enjoyed a winning start to life in England, Gloucester coming through 16-10.
Slow starts however are one of the reasons why Gloucester find themselves tenth in the table, Nigel Davies’ men having fallen behind in their last three Aviva Premiership clashes.
And Cowan is urging his team-mates to start as they mean to go on at the Rec on Friday night, in front of the BT Sport cameras, especially with local bragging rights on the line.
“I haven’t been at Gloucester as long as some of the other boys but I certainly know how important games against Bath are,” said Cowan.
“My first ever game last October was against Bath and I know what it means to the area, our fans and their fans and they are always great atmospheres.
“My old mate Stephen Donald ruined my debut though as he scored after about 30 seconds so I am hoping for a better start this time around.
“But a fast start is key in derby games because we will want to silence the crowd and that is the best way to do that.
“Getting have been getting off to slow starts in the last three or four games and it is something we want to sort out and there is no better place to do that than in a derby.”
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