Bristol Rugby moving in the right direction

Bristol Rugby scrum half Graeme Beveridge (pictured) has featured significantly in the club’s preseason campaign to date and took time out from training to talk to the club website about how things are going.

 

We’re coming towards the end of the preseason friendly schedule, how do you feel things have gone?

“Before the games started, we had a really good six week training block with Dave Bell leading the fitness coaching and all the guys are looking fit.”


“We went into the Exeter game and probably didn’t play as well as we would have liked and we were very disappointed with that performance and obviously the loss.”


“Since then the guys have moved on and played very well at Pontypool and then had a very good win up at Glasgow before playing very well the other night against the Bristol Combination.”


“So, things have progressed since that Exeter game. We’re moving in the right direction. There are still one or two things to work on but we have 10 days before the big kick off.”


Last Friday saw an interesting occasion for you when Bristol played at Glasgow Warriors, your former club?


“It was quite strange. I actually played up there for seven years and it was strange being in the away dressing room and running out in a different strip. So, it was interesting to go back. I hadn’t seen some of the players for a year since I came down here although I’ve spoken to them on the phone.”


“But I enjoyed the experience. It was great to go back and obviously we got a very good win.”


Glasgow probably were Bristol’s strongest preseason opponents. How did you feel the game went?


“They are very strong, especially at home. I think they’ve only lost four times in the last three seasons at home and for us to come away with a win was a great result.”


“They’re in the Heineken Cup next season so it was a step up for us and, certainly in the first half, we played some very good rugby but didn’t quite take our chances to put the game beyond them.”


“We didn’t play quite so well in the second half with ball in hand but we were tested in defence which was beneficial and we held on for the win.”


A real scrum half battle was shaping up between Shaun, Haydn and yourself before Shaun’s unfortunate injury. That competition must really serve to spur you on?


“Of course it does. We actually have four scrum halves in the squad including Sam Alford. So, you know you have to come in for training every day and perform at your best to be in with a chance of getting selected.”


“And, if you get selected, you have to play well because if you don’t then there are three other guys in the background who are desperate for the shirt.”


“So, it’s unfortunate for Shaun that he’s injured and it’s up to Haydn and I now to possibly fight it out for that number nine shirt and whoever gets given it for the Bath game will have to play well to keep it.”


Being a scrum half, do you feel under any extra scrutiny with the Head Coach being a former scrum half?


“I don’t know if there’s extra scrutiny but there’s definitely extra training! After sessions, we’ll be out there doing the passing and kicking.”


“But that’s one of the reasons I would imagine that scrum halves come to this club, to work with a guy of Richard’s reputation. He was obviously a great international scrum half himself. He’s one of the reasons I came here and it’s good to have a man like that helping you out on a day to day basis.”


Looking ahead to the big Guinness Premiership opener against Bath, you must have heard a lot about Bristol Bath derbies?


“I was unfortunate last year and missed both of them but they’re obviously big games and I’m sure it will be a sell out at the Mem. They beat us twice last year so they have the bragging rights and we’re certainly looking to put that right.”


“It’s the first game and

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