GLOUCESTER wing Shane Monahan is desperate to escape the treatment table and take his place in 'one of the best back lines in Europe', writes Paddy von Behr.
The Irishman is in his second season at Kingsholm and it has been a frustrating one, with injuries allowing just five Aviva Premiership appearances.
The Cherry & Whites have hit some form of late, winning three of their last four league games to move up to eighth in the table with four games to go.
This weekend they host West Country rivals Bath with Monahan hoping to return from a groin problem – the latest in a series of setbacks.
And he is relishing the prospect of linking up with the likes of Billy Twelvetrees, Henry Trinder and Jonny May before the season is out.
"I love playing with the team because there is such talent and depth in it," said Monahan. "It is one of the best back lines in Europe.
"It is just a case of consistency and mentally keeping focused for the full 80 minutes. Once we get that sorted there is no limit to what we can do.
"I think some of the lads in the pack were struggling a bit with the new rule changes, which is never easy – to basically be trained your whole life in one way and then be told you can't do it that way anymore.
"We are slowly getting better and Trevor Woodman is coming in now to help with the scrummaging so the signs for the future are very bright."
Monahan was impressed with May's England exploits after he featured heavily in Stuart Lancaster's squad in recent months.
And he is pleased to be competing with the 24-year-old for his Gloucester shirt – rather than coming up against him on a Saturday.
"Jonny is an interesting character off the field – but even more so when he is on the field," Monahan added.
"He brings a huge amount to the table. As a defender you wouldn't like to defend against him because he is so unpredictable in what he can do.
"He is younger than me but I can learn a hell of a lot from him in terms of rugby and hopefully I can teach him some things as well. We bounce off each other and there is a good camaraderie in the team.
"There is always competition – I want to be starting ahead of him and he wants to be starting ahead of me - and it is for the betterment of Gloucester rugby."
Land Rover supports grassroots rugby and provides the opportunity for 7,000 youngsters to take part in the Land Rover Premiership Rugby Cup.