Dan Robson could be the perfect man for England, says Mike Tindall
DAN Robson is ready to force his way into England's crowded scrum-half picture, believes Mike Tindall.
England's most-capped centre has tipped the fast-improving Robson to thrive at international level – despite a litany of quality nines impressing across the Premiership.
Tindall expects Robson to give no ground in an all-out tussle with Jimmy Cowan for Gloucester's number nine shirt next season, once the All Black World Cup winner finds fitness.
Cowan is recovering well after surgery to repair his torn anterior cruciate knee ligament, and will battle to be fit for the start of next term.
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Stoke-on-Trent born Robson has continually impressed in his breakthrough first-team season at Kingsholm.
And now Tindall is confident the 20-year-old can not only establish himself as Gloucester's long-term scrum-half – but also muscle in on Stuart Lancaster's full England squad too.
Tindall explained: "I've got nothing but praise for Dan, I think he'll force his way into the England reckoning pretty soon.
"I think England need to be looking at him. It's a tough position at the moment, with Danny Care and Ben Youngs, we've got lots of high-tempo nines in England, with Joe Simpson as well and others.
"And we'll go into an era of really good nines for England.
"With Jimmy going down you lost a lot of experience, but like all young players there's no element of fear in Dan's game.
"His intent to learn, to improve, it's fantastic.
"He wants to soak up information, and he just wants to get better all the time.
"He's helping drive our game at the moment, and that's great to see.
"Next season's going to be very interesting when Jimmy gets fit, the pair of them will have a great battle there.
"It's the kind of competition you need, and I think everyone at Gloucester is very impressed with how Dan has developed not only so quickly but also so calmly.
"He's taken everything in his stride, and that's to his great credit."
Despite a bullish performance, Tindall could not mark his 150th competitive Gloucester appearance with a victory over former club Bath on Friday night.
The 34-year-old put in a vintage showing, reinforcing his fine form, but the Cherry and Whites still slipped up 31-25.
Gloucester boss Nigel Davies had targeted 12 points from his side's four-game Premiership run.
The Kingsholm men wound up with 11, leaving Tindall frustrated at several opportunities missed.
With five league matches left, Tindall admits Gloucester must finally hit prime form – starting with their home clash against London Welsh on Saturday, March 23 (kick-off 3pm).
He continued: "It's quite hard to change the wheel mid-season, and it's also not something we need to do. It's really not anywhere near that drastic.
"They really went after our pack in the middle of the field.
"So we'll work on our options and our shape to contest that.
"The frustrating side of this four-game run is that there are massive positives from all of it.
"But on the negative side of things we're giving away easier tries than we should be.
"The set-piece was a trouble for us on Friday.
"It's a real borderline thing at the moment. There were 20 points on offer in these four games and 11 is a reasonable return, but it could have been so much more.
"You can't be too down, though, we've got to move forward, keep pushing on and work to get into that top four.
"We've got a clear picture of what we need to do in these last five games.
"We knew we were struggling at the set-piece so we started taking quick taps and moving the ball a bit quicker.
"That try to come back into things just shows the character of the boys, that's been there in spades all season.
"If that keeps coming we're only going to get better and better.
"We've got to put in a huge performance against London Welsh.
"We've gone too long at Kingsholm now without a real rip-snorter, I think.
"So there can be no better time than when we face Welsh."