Gloucester Rugby: Ryan Mills deserves to be in the shake-up for first-team place
RYAN Mills is ready for first-team action after easing past long-term knee trouble, believes Nigel Davies.
The 21-year-old centre is primed for his first steps back into the first-team in this Heineken Cup fortnight, after impressing all term in A League action for Gloucester United.
England Under-20s graduate Mills spent six months battling a genetic knee defect last term, and four more in pre-season after a second operation.
Gloucester boss Davies has held Mills back from first-team action thus far this season – but only to protect the muscular pivot from the risk of any knee-trouble recurrence.
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Davies explained: "It's been a long-term injury for Ryan and it takes time to get over that, and we're still having to manage his work as well.
"He's had a fair bit of rugby now with the A team.
"I wouldn't hold anyone back, you saw that with Dan Robson last year and Gareth Evans this.
"If they are good enough they play.
"Ryan's injuries have been very delicate and we've had to be very careful because what you don't want is him reinjuring that particular area, because that would be catastrophic.
"We've managed his time, his conditioning, so he's eventually got to the stage where we now feel he's probably ready for an opportunity."