3 February 2022
Ben Loader can’t wait to take to the field on Friday night when London Irish travel to Kingsholm Stadium to take on Gloucester Rugby in Round 15 of the Gallagher Premiership (kick-off 7:45pm).
The contest, that will be broadcast live on BT Sport, is one that Loader is relishing.
“We came through that period where we had to play in front of no supporters, so for me personally, anytime we play in front of a good crowd, it gives me such a buzz,” he explained.
“Whether they are screaming with or against you, it brings energy to the players. I can’t wait for Friday night; it should be another fantastic occasion.”
Last weekend, Irish managed to secure a 18-14 victory over Exeter Chiefs, and whilst Loader was happy with the result, he knows there are still aspects of his side’s game that need to improve.
“The result against Exeter will give us confidence, but it was by no means the perfect performance. We had plenty of learnings to take from last weekend. We also know that when we are playing well, we can compete with anyone in the league.
“This week is a short week, and we won’t have as many training sessions to prepare for the game, but that’s a challenge that we will have to overcome. There is a good buzz around the group as we head into that Friday night trip to Gloucester.”
Playing on a Friday night underneath the floodlights present its own set of additional challenges for the squad to think about. So, how much of an impact can that have on a performance?
“It’s a mixed bag really. There are certain things that are different. You want to try and approached every game in the same way, but on night games you have different things to think about. There’s a lot of waiting around for evening games. It’s important to get your head around that.
“Then for me, being a winger, being under the light provides its own difficulties and challenges. It’s still exciting, and I’m expecting a good atmosphere. Coming up against ‘The Shed’ at Kingsholm is something that we are really relishing!”
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