Gloucester Rugby:' Excited' Ryan Mills raring to go
IT WAS the calculator that gave it away.
Ryan Mills sat down to work out how many days he had lost to rugby through injury – and was shocked by the total.
The 20-year-old is fit again after knee surgery in August, and itching to get back to action.
Mills' last match was England Under-20s' 17-13 Australia defeat in the IRB Junior World Championship – on June 24.
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Hoping to take the field at Franklin's Gardens on Saturday, Mills totted it all up, and was still staggered by the stark number of days he has gone without competitive action.
The highly-rated Kingsholm playmaker explained: "I was trying to think back to the last time I played, and it was against Australia out in South Africa.
"I think that was June 22, and that will be 218 days on Saturday.
"I hadn't played for two months before the operation, because of the off-season.
"So it really feels like I've been out for a long time.
"And I just can't wait to get back, I'm massively excited.
"I'm sure it will be a shock to the system, but I really can't wait.
"I'd like to think that once I settle down and get back into things, I'll be fine."
Mills' pre-season surgery means he has missed all the first-hand experiences of the changing of the Kingsholm guard, from the Bryan Redpath to Nigel Davies eras.
Now he is back fit and ready to get going again, though, he hopes he can be like a new signing settling into what he admits feels like a totally different club.
The Exeter-born pivot continued: "Hopefully I can be like a new player for Nigel Davies, and for me it feels like joining a new club, with different structure, set-up and coaches.
"Now I've got the chance to train and play within that structure, it almost feels like a new club.
"This is a great chance to show yourself on a big stage, and hopefully I can take that.
"I've been out so long I'm just happy to get on the field, I don't care where!"
Feeling in good fettle after his surgery rehabilitation, Mills said Gloucester will target nothing other than two wins from their remaining two LV=Cup games.
Gloucester need to see off the Saints on Saturday (kick-off 3pm) and then beat Bath at Kingsholm a week later to keep their LV=Cup semi-final hopes alive.
Confident the Cherry and Whites can register two-straight wins, Mills added: "Just running around in training I feel a whole lot better than I'd expected.
"I'm happy with the way I'm training and now the challenge is to transfer that into matches.
"We need to get two wins to keep our chances alive, and that's exactly what we're after.
"We've got a very strong side out, allowing for giving people rests who need them.
"So hopefully we can go up there and give it a real good go."