Adventures of Sinbad: Jimmy Cowan, Gavin Henson and Wooden Spoon
James Simpson-Daniel's weekly column: The Adventures of Sinbad.
Brought to you in association with rugby charity Wooden Spoon
JIMMY Cowan's arrival will give the whole squad another little boost.
There's always a buzz around the club when big names arrive.
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You can bet your bottom dollar that when the media get the chance to meet him there will be a few more faces knocking around than normal.
That only reflects his status as a World Cup-winning All Black, though, and among the players everyone is looking forward to his arrival.
I imagine Nigel Davies will not be in a huge rush to throw him into action though.
Already we've seen evidence of Nigel's policy in terms of rotating players, keeping people fresh and trusting in the depth and strength of the squad.
That is paying early dividend, and in a long season there's no doubt it will bear fruit come the back-end of the campaign.
Dan Robson and Dave Lewis are more than capable Premiership operators, as they keep showing, and so there's no need for Jimmy to get off a plane and jump straight into action.
I reckon Nigel will ease him in, firstly letting him get over the jet-lag, and then he can kick on from there.
Jimmy will probably sit down with the Lord, Mike Tindall, and go through the play book, and then start building up his training.
He might start with weights or conditioning games, then he could slot into the team stuff, maybe even running as the opposition.
And when the time is right, Nigel will give him his head.
Jimmy's arrival will add competition for places for Dan and Dave, and clearly not all three can make each match squad.
But the two nines already here will not be downbeat.
On the contrary, they will be massively excited by the challenge, and also to learn from one of the most decorated half-backs in the world.
WELSH COACH JONES HAS PUT HIS TRUST IN LYN JONES
NICK Runciman speaks very highly of Lyn Jones.
The London Welsh boss has a great pedigree and reputation, and former Gloucester scrum-half Runciman has backed that up.
Runci is impressed by Jones’ influence at Welsh this term.
A coach of that calibre and experience would not have recruited Gavin Henson unless he was certain the Welsh playmaker could improve the squad, and the set-up.
Henson has clearly had his problems. There’s neither time nor need to run through them here.
Players who build their public profile have to accept they will be talked about, and in all probability in a negative way in some quarters.
Henson has had his troubles, but Jones clearly believes he can put them behind him.
From a fellow player’s perspective it would be great if when we read about Gavin from hereon in, it’s all about the rugby.
He’s got the talent to make that happen, and taking my Gloucester hat off a second, I hope he does.
THERE IS NO WAY WE'LL UNDERESTIMATE WELSH
NIGEL Davies spoke to us about London Welsh on Monday – and he said he was glad they have won two games in a row.
Our rugby director is pleased, because now it ought to mean there is absolutely no chance of us underestimating them.
We wouldn’t anyway. I honestly believe it’s not our style.
Welsh have probably surprised a few people with two-straight wins, but not anyone at Kingsholm.
Exeter Chiefs have shown everyone the quality of the Championship, and progressed to establish themselves as a proper Premiership power.
And there’s no reason why London Welsh cannot do the same.
But we’re improving all the time, and we’re desperate to go to Oxford and get a result.
It’s been solid and pretty pleasing progress, and it would be great to kick forward again.
I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO MY BIG GRILLING FOR WOODEN SPOON
DON’T miss the chance to quiz me and my Gloucester team-mates at Kingsholm on Tuesday night.
My association with The Wooden Spoon for this column means I’m keen to help the Gloucestershire branch raise funds for good causes across the county.
This year Wooden Spoon Gloucestershire have already raised £40,000 for Cirencester’s Riding for the Disabled, to help the charity to build a new riding arena.
And now they are supporting Gloucester’s St James City Farm.
Tuesday’s event will be held at Kingsholm’s 1873 Suite, with doors opening at 7pm.
There are no tickets. It’s first-come, first-served and a group of Gloucester players will be answering your questions.
Looking forward to seeing you there.
TIP OF THE WEEK
WELL, I’m having a total shocker with my prediction talents so far.
At none from three if I get any worse I’ll have to be picking between red and black on roulette!
Saying that, I am actually going to take a 50-50 shot this weekend: Europe to win the Ryder Cup.
I’m not a golf fanatic but I do love the majors and the Ryder Cup.
The Americans are warning about a hostile crowd, but if the Europeans channel that correctly and feed off it, they can turn it to their advantage.