Skipper Hamilton insists he's raring to go at Wasps
JIM Hamilton is desperate to play in Sunday's Premiership clash at Wasps – and Nigel Davies reckons his captain is ready for the challenge.
Totemic lock Hamilton has slugged it out for Scotland in successive Six Nations contests, losing to England before seeing off Italy.
This weekend the premier European tournament breaks – as much to give the players respite as anything else.
But bullish Hamilton does not want a break: instead the 30-year-old is itching to turn out for Gloucester at Adams Park (kick-off 1pm).
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Cherry and Whites boss Davies said Hamilton reported for Gloucester duty on Monday, and immediately asked to be considered for Sunday's Wasps battle.
The former Llanelli coach said he had to determine Hamilton's mental as well as physical state – but after a quick chat, admitted he knew his skipper was up for the fight.
Davies explained: "Jim's available to play this weekend – he came back at the start of the week and we had a talk about whether he would play.
"Immediately he said he was ready and raring to go, and that's great.
"I had no pre-conceived ideas with Jim on whether we would play him this weekend or not.
"And that was down to the discussion when he came back really.
"People have to understand that international rugby is huge, not only physically but also emotionally, the whole week of the game, the build-up, all the players really get themselves in a different place.
"Whether you win or lose, and fortunately Jim won at the weekend, there's always a down from that.
"And I recognise that having played international rugby myself.
"And sometimes it's not worth having those players on the park."
Hamilton is keen to put in as many shifts for Gloucester as possible before joining Montpellier in the summer.
Hailing that determination, Davies said Hamilton is in prime condition ahead of the crucial clash at Wasps.
Gloucester can leapfrog Wasps into the Premiership top four with a win on Sunday, and Hamilton's availability is a clear bonus.
New recruit Lua Lokotui and Will James impressed in Saturday's 27-11 Northampton victory.
And now Davies said he faces a welcome selection conundrum.
He continued: "It's great to be facing problems like that.
"Jim has been clear since he's come back, he's said 'I want to be a part of moving Gloucester forward this year'.
"And given that he will be moving on next year, he wants to take every chance he can get.
"He's the captain of the side, and he brings a big influence there.
"So to have him within the squad this week, it's great.
"I was open-minded about it all: it really depended on how we felt about things – but also how I felt about things too.
"Either way it wouldn't have fazed us.
"One of our philosophies this year has been to be able to adapt and I think we've done that pretty well in the main.
"As a group they adapt and they get on with things, and that's key really."