Ben hopes Gloucester cameo Sparks Foresters call
BEN Sparks hopes his Gloucester cameo can help him push for a place in the Cinderford team now.
The pacey number eight came off the Cherry and Whites' bench for the dying minutes on Tuesday at Kingsholm against international flyers Fiji having trained with the professional squad all week.
Sparks is optimistic the full-time experience can improve him as a player with the Foresters looking to maintain their undefeated National One home record against Blaydon tomorrow (2.30pm).
"It felt really good to get on. It is definitely a different level to the National League and much faster and I really enjoyed it," said Sparks.
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"It was a close game all the way through and they are a big heavy team. It is a bit tricky to go into a team having to pick up all their moves quickly.
"But all the guys are really helpful and got me up to date.
"They give you tips and helped you improve your game and become a better member of the team."
Sparks packed down for a crucial scrum in the last few moments of the exhibition after Fiji fly-half Jonetani Ralulu was just short with a penalty attempt from inside his own half. Nigel Davies' side tried to run down the clock before eventually taking the ball back over their try-line resulting in a dangerous five-metre scrum for the tourists.
But Sparks and co held on for a narrow 31-29 victory with Foresters' team-mate Tom Heard, who is dual registered with the Kingsholm side, fronting up at tight-head.
Sparks, who signed for Cinderford from Stourbridge last year, was on the bench for Gloucester's last-gasp LV= Cup defeat at Ospreys last Friday as well.
Dockham Road lineout chief Ed King joined him amongst the replacements for both fixtures and 22-year-old Sparks hopes it could help him push into the professional ranks.
"Nigel Davies (Gloucester director of rugby) is renowned for getting younger players through and giving them time in the first team, so hopefully he can do that for me," added Sparks.
"My aim is to get as much game time for Cinderford as I can and hopefully there will be a spot at Gloucester for me in the future. I want to get back to training full-time as soon as possible, that's when I play my best rugby."