Gloucester Rugby: Championship has much more to offer - Cook
THERE is plenty more talent where we came from – that's the message from Gloucester's Championship recruits.
Full-back Rob Cook hopes Premiership clubs will keep on handing Championship stars the chance to prove themselves at the top level.
The 28-year-old summer signing from Cornish Pirates produced a near-faultless display in Saturday's 16-10 West Country derby victory over Bath.
His try helped the Cherry and Whites extend their winning sequence over their fierce rivals to five-straight Premiership clashes.
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But it was his solidity and positional sense that underpinned Gloucester's gritty second-half resurgence.
Irish powerhouse wing Shane Monahan blasted craters all over the Kingsholm field on Saturday, the 25-year-old former Rotherham man showing his Premiership class once again.
Both men are intent on forging long-term Kingsholm careers, and Cook urged Premiership clubs to keep mining the talent from the league below.
Cook explained: "I don't think the step from the Championship is massive for the individual – it is for a team of course, but then that said Exeter have done brilliantly and London Welsh have had a good start.
"It's about getting used to playing in the side and understanding what the players around you are going to do – that's the main aim at the moment.
"The step-up is a fantastic challenge, and with all the training and the set-up everything's in place for you to take that chance. I'm loving it at the moment, and I'm sure Shane is too.
"If you look at all the boys who have gone through to the Premiership, then the talent speaks for itself.
"Matt Hopper blew the Premiership up last season after joining Harlequins from the Pirates."
Cook and Monahan join fellow new Championship recruits Sione Kalamafoni and Drew Locke in this year's Gloucester squad.
And former Nottingham duo Tim Taylor and Tim Molenaar have long since proved their Premiership potency.
Injuries to Charlie Sharples and Jonny May might have given Cook his first run in the full Gloucester side – but he said he is now determined to make the most of the chances in front of him.
He continued: "There's plenty of players in that league who have the talent and the ability – it's about having the opportunity, working hard to create it and then striving to take it if it comes.
"I've got that opportunity now, and I don't intend to waste it or give it away. Hopefully Premiership clubs are well clued-up now to the talent that's out there, and it would definitely be great to see more players take that step."
Delighted with Saturday's win and his first Gloucester try, Cook said the Cherry and Whites continue to threaten to hit full speed – and he expects them to blow someone away when that eventually happens.
Hailing James Simpson-Daniel's try-making move on Saturday, Cook continued: "Sinbad is awesome, he always beats the first defender, his experience on the field is huge and it's nice just to feed off him.
"It's always nice to score, especially when you win as well. It was a good team effort against Bath – the first-half performance wasn't great but we kept ourselves in the mix and that paid off.
"They had played all the rugby in the first half but they were only four points ahead, and I think that was the crucial element.
"We always knew that once we got into our game we would cause them problems. And we haven't even clicked yet, so I think it will be worth watching when we do.
"We're ready to go and it's only a matter of time before that happens. We're playing all right but there's still plenty to work on. There's a good work ethic and it's enjoyable."