'Coach' Cowan aids quest for perfection
CHELTENHAM must demonstrate more commitment on the training paddock if they are to beat league rivals, starting with former National Three side Maidenhead.
Second row James Milne believes 70 per cent of the rugby they are playing is of match-winning calibre.
But more bodies need to turn up to training at Newlands Park to correct the 30 per cent shortfall that has caused three defeats so far.
The South West One East outfit host Maidenhead at the Prince of Wales Stadium tomorrow (3pm) in their sixth game this term, after falling to a 35-17 defeat at the hands of Grove away last weekend.
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Cheltenham are currently 11th in the league, while Maidenhead lie in fifth.
Milne said: "We need to up the consistency, and as with any amateur club, we need to get lads to training and work on that 30 per cent.
"If we haven't got everybody here during the week, we turn up on Saturday and have to run things through for the first time.
"There are some great teams out there and you need to be at your best. We gave away 11 penalties for being offside last week, so we need to work on discipline at the breakdown.
"We used to have really good battles with Maidenhead at home.
"There will be some old rivalries when they come down, but we've got to focus on what we do rather than what they bring.
World Cup-winning All Black and Gloucester scrum-half Jimmy Cowan joined Cherry and Whites team-mates Dan Murphy and Tim Taylor at Newlands Park this week to cast his experienced eye over training.
Milne believes the presence of Premiership greats is invaluable for younger members of the team stepping up to first-team duty, in the absence of the growing list of injured.
Captain Tommy Lait is sidelined (hamstring), while lineout specialist James Hillier sprained his ankle in last week's defeat.
Milne added: "We've got some really young guys involved and they've adapted to it really well
"We just need to keep building on it and make sure we stay injury-free.
"The kind of teams that we play in this league the margins are very fine, so when you haven't got your best line-out jumper it makes it quite difficult to come back.
"But having the Gloucester guys here helps massively.
"Training can get boring after years playing rugby, but these guys bring their technical ability to us and enthusiasm grows in the squad."