Morgan: Games like these are why I joined Gloucester
A PACKED-OUT Kingsholm baying for Leicester blood – Ben Morgan admits he has been waiting a long time to get his teeth into the Tigers in cherry and white.
The Gloucester number eight believes his side face their toughest examination yet under new boss Nigel Davies this weekend.
The Kingsholm men host Leicester on Saturday (kick-off 4.45pm), keen to extend their seven-game unbeaten streak.
Quietly pleased with Gloucester's progress so far this term, the 23-year-old England loose forward believes only a first-class showing will be good enough for victory now.
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Morgan swapped Llanelli Scarlets for hometown club Gloucester in the summer – and he admitted it was all because of days like Saturday.
He explained: "I came to Gloucester for games like this.
"There's been a healthy rivalry between Gloucester and Leicester for a long time, and it's very exciting to look forward to taking them on now.
"I think it's a massive game for us, but at the same time there isn't too much added pressure.
"We've just got to perform now, we know we won't win if we don't and that's a fairly straightforward situation for us.
"This is one of the biggest games of the season, I don't think anyone will disagree.
"It's about making sure we sharpen up from our Bordeaux performance.
"So we've gone about rectifying certain things on the training field, and hopefully that will pay off.
"We're building every week but really, we've got to be on top of our game when it comes to big matches like this.
"Nigel understands we're not going to transform overnight and it's a building process.
"We're spending time on the training field learning new things all the time, and we are growing.
"But we've got to perform in these big games."
Hoping Tongan powerhouse Sione Kalamafoni will be fit to face the Tigers, Morgan said he is relishing forming a destructive duo with the summer signing from Nottingham.
He continued: "He's proving a really big force, and we're able to link up as well which is really good.
"I think that's when we can be at our best, when we're working together to get the team on the front foot.
"Whoever starts in the back-row, that will be one of the big challenges – to give ourselves good, quick ball by driving holes through the defence."
Gloucester slugged out 25-13 Bordeaux victory last week, slipping off the pace after scoring four first-half tries.
Morgan had to deputise as a makeshift lock after Will James' sin-binning, helping the home side win a pivotal scrum penalty five metres from their own line.
Hoping not to reprise that emergency switch, Morgan said Gloucester must now add greater precision to their clear resolve.
He added: "We're certainly not firing on all cylinders but it's pleasing that we're still winning, even if we're not at top form.
"You've got to adapt to situations on the pitch, and I just happened to slot in at lock – hopefully I won't be making a regular feature of it!
"In all seriousness though, in those situations you've got to just get on with it, and help the team however you're needed to.
"We showed a lot of fight, and that's shown in every game.
"That's something I don't think you can coach.
"We've got a lot of spirit about the team, and we can be deadly and effective when we're on form.
"The second half let us down in many respects and now we've got to react."