Up for the fight
Freddie Burns tells the Rugby Club that Gloucester have discovered a new mental toughness.
Last Updated: 21/09/12 11:26am
Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns believes the Cherry and Whites have finally discovered the mental edge to complement their undoubted attacking potential.
The 22-year-old has been at the centre of a young Gloucester side that at times has lit up the Aviva Premiership with some dazzling attacking rugby in recent seasons. But they have failed to translate that into trophies - apart from the Anglo-Welsh Cup in 2010/11 - with some critics locating a soft-under belly to their game.
That criticism, Burns concedes, may have been fair in previous seasons, but he is confident that battling performances against London Irish and Northampton Saints this term prove they have the belief and desire to be successful under new head coach Nigel Davies.
"I see Gloucester as a team, as me as an individual as well: we need to be more rounded," he told the Rugby Club.
"We love playing on those sunny days when we can chuck the ball about. So far this year we managed to grind out a bonus point against Northampton, coming back to get it. Against London Irish I think we came back against six times to win it.
"I think that belief and desire is something that we might have lacked in the last few years, but we definitely have it this year."
Like his idol, former New Zealand fly-half Carlos Spencer - whom Burns made his Gloucester debut alongside in a testimonial match for Andy Hazell a few years ago - the young fly-half is never short of confidence in his own ability.
And he says the mercurial Kiwi was a major influence on the way he views the game and how he is trying to develop as a player.
"I really appreciated the fact that he went out and had a go," Burns said. "It was never a case of playing not to lose; it was playing to win, which I really like. I am happy with most of my decision-making skills it is just the execution of those skills when the pressure is on.
"From a young age if there were any kicks I would run up and grab the ball and take it. If I missed four on the bounce I would still want to take them."