Gloucester Rugby: 'Derby delirium must be put aside for hard yakka'
HUIA Edmonds has no choice but to reject all the West Country derby delirium.
The 31-year-old Australian hooker has plenty of rivalry experience, from his days with the ACT Brumbies.
But the free-running front-rower has never allowed himself to get caught up in the bragging rights battles.
The four-cap Wallaby admits he cannot let his focus drift from pinpoint match preparation – and will not break with his personal approach this week.
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Gloucester take on Bath at The Recreation Ground on Friday night (kick-off 8pm), keen to close out four consecutive Premiership clashes with a crucial victory.
Edmonds appreciates all the derby build-up, but said he has to stop himself from entering into that spirit.
Gearing up for his first league test at The Rec, Edmonds explained: "I played at The Rec in the sevens in the summer, but I don't think that's the same!
"I've heard a lot about it, but for me I can't take it differently, I've just got to treat it like any other game.
"I have to concentrate on my game, and to be fair the team have got to concentrate on the contest too.
"Every game we play is important, derby or not.
"We've got to go at every match, so we need the same mentality for every game.
"The Brumbies-New South Wales derby was massive back home.
"They would call that whole week Waratahs week and it would be hugely hyped up.
"But I think as a group of players we have to prepare the same way we always do.
"And for me I've got to treat it as just another game."
Edmonds believes Gloucester can steal a top-four Premiership play-off march with victory at Bath.
The Cherry and Whites have a two-week fixture break after Friday.
And Edmonds knows Friday's result will totally colour their mood for the following fortnight.
Win and Gloucester can start looking up the table – lose, and it will be an uphill struggle, Aussie style.
He added: "It's so tight up there, if we win this one we can take a little lead – but if we don't it's going to be hard yakka from there on in, if that Australian phrase translates over here.
"So we really need it.
"We spoke about this before the run of four league games, that this is a big run for us, and we need to make big progress.
"And we've got a two-week break after this, so we can really go all-out on Friday."