Thrush thriving in Gloucester

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Lynn McConnell     05 Jan 2016     Getty Images

Having opted to end his career facing new challenges in a different environment Thrush has quickly won over the rugby fans of Gloucester.

"I wanted to experience something a little bit different and it was a good time to go," he told the Gloucester Citizen.

"Back in New Zealand when you hit 30 you're seen as an old timer so to come here and not feel so old and have some older guys running around gives an extra spring in the step," he said.

Gloucester's status as a rugby town had helped his decision to play there and he was enjoying his experience.

"It's a bit different, a bit more of the set-piece – back home it's more of a launching pad for the backs to attack. The maul and scrum here is more of a weapon to build points.

"Then the conditions also play a part, there's a fair bit of kicking. I came from a team where we had some pretty freakish players who didn't like to kick too much," he said.

Making the adjustment to the different game requirements was tempered by having some southern hemisphere flair on hand when needed.

But the obvious area of improvement he has contributed to has been the advancing driving lineout, both in attack and defence, something that was borne out in the side's 27-14 win over London Irish at the weekend.

"We have set up some good mauls but have struggled turning them into points and putting pressure on teams. But we stuck at against Irish and I was pleased our game leaders wanted to kick to the corner.

"I have been trying to push that, keep kicking to the corner to build pressure on teams and it was good. We got a yellow cards and probably should have had a penalty try from that and then we got a few penalties and five points," Thrush said.

Gloucester managed 21 unanswered points during the second half to delight their home crowd at Castle Grim.

"I love the atmosphere here and the support we get from everyone. Back home, if we were playing in those sorts of conditions we probably wouldn't have got too many people in the ground.

"But to see so many people here is great, it doesn't matter what the weather is like, they will support you," he said.

Gloucester face a tougher challenge at the weekend with an away game against second-placed Exeter.