Gloucester Rugby: Koree Britton eyes breakthrough
INTIMIDATING hardly covers it where debuts in deepest, murkiest France for front-rowers are concerned.
Scrummaging is almost a national pastime across The Channel – but unfazed Koree Britton admitted he revelled in that pressurised atmosphere at Mont de Marsan.
The 20-year-old hooker lined up alongside 22-year-old prop duo Yann Thomas and Shaun Knight for Gloucester's Amlin Challenge Cup opener.
And the bullish Torquay-born competitor forged a formidable scrum trio with his coal face chums.
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The young front-row dispatched their far more experienced Stade Montois counterparts, and Britton said the whole experience has filled him with confidence.
Buoyed by the backing of the Gloucester coaches, Britton explained: "It's a great honour to pull on a Gloucester shirt, and having the support of the coaches and their confidence behind me, to put me in that situation, for my first start, I feel that's quite a big step for me.
"Last year I was playing at Hartpury regularly, and now I've got opportunities like last week, and that's a great step.
"Hopefully it's my first of many starts, and I'd love this to be something of a breakthrough season.
"It was a great opportunity, and hopefully I grasped it with both hands, and did all that I could.
"The way everyone talks about French clubs, they are old-fashioned in their style, big, intimidating and hard.
"But that doesn't put any doubts in your head – it excites us to go up against that challenge.
"It makes you think 'Actually, I'm going to give you a run for your money and give you all that I've got'.
"Hopefully I did that, and I definitely enjoyed it."
Keen to sharpen up his set-piece work, Britton said Gloucester can be rightly proud of their scrummaging so far this season.
He added: "I've just got to tighten up my core skills, lineouts and scrummaging.
"Hopefully the other parts of my game aren't too bad, but you always need to keep sharpening up the lineouts and scrums.
"I've just got to keep working my socks off, keep my head down and get stuck in, and see where that takes me.
"Tony Windo has had a massive impact on all of us already.
"Even something as small as moving your feet in your standing position two inches can make a massive difference.
"The way the pack has scrummaged, whoever has played, that's been a big feature, and we're working hard to ensure that continues."