Kriel is out of Chiefs dou­ble header Thor­ley form ‘good for Eng­land’

Gloucestershire Echo - - DEAC'S WEEK -

JACO Kriel is set to miss Glouces­ter’s Heineken Cham­pi­ons Cup dou­ble header against Ex­eter with a ham­string in­jury.

The South Africa in­ter­na­tional is cur­rently not reg­is­tered for Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion and head coach Jo­han Ack­er­mann re­vealed that he has not added him due to a knock he picked up in the Premier­ship win over lo­cal ri­vals Worces­ter on Satur­day.

Kriel also missed the first two games of the com­pe­ti­tion as he was still re­cov­er­ing from a shoul­der in­jury and was re­placed in the squad by Gareth Evans with Glouces­ter short on back-row op­tions for the away game against Mun­ster.

He has played four games for the club since his come­back and could be swapped back into the Euro­pean squad in place of Evans later in the pool stages but Glouces­ter are set to go with what they have for the next two weeks.

Ack­er­mann said: “On Satur­day he had a tweak in his ham­string and he wouldn’t have been fit for this com­ing week any­how so that’s why we didn’t want to reg­is­ter him now, we’re just go­ing to play with the back row­ers that we’ve got for this next two rounds.”

Glouces­ter have added an­other South African to their Euro­pean squad though with hooker Jaco Vis­agie tak­ing the place of academy winger Alex Mor­gan.

Vis­agie has im­pressed in his two ap­pear­ances since join­ing on loan from The Blue Bulls on a three-month deal last month to pro­vide cover for the in­jured Franco Marais and is likely to be needed for at Sandy Park.

Aus­tralia in­ter­na­tional James Han­son will have a scan on his hand after pick­ing up an in­jury against Worces­ter, leav­ing Henry Walker as the only other fit hooker in the squad.

“It’s still quite swollen and we just have to in­ves­ti­gate if it’s some­thing more,” said Ack­er­mann.

“Todd Gleave is strug­gling with a hand in­jury, so we’re down to two hook­ers so it’s a bless­ing that Jaco is here and even more so that we had to reg­is­ter him.”

On Satur­day he had a tweak in his ham­string and he wouldn’t have been fit for this com­ing week any­how so that’s why we didn’t want to reg­is­ter him now Jo­han Ack­er­mann

» JO­HAN Ack­er­mann says the rise of Ol­lie Thor­ley is “great for Eng­land rugby.”

The Glouces­ter wing con­tin­ued his sen­sa­tional form since his come­back from a shoul­der in­jury, scor­ing twice in the 36-16 derby win over Worces­ter at King­sholm to take his tally to four in three Premier­ship games this sea­son.

“I’m just pleased for Ol­lie,” said Cherry and Whites head coach Jo­han Ack­er­mann.

“He had his set­backs last sea­son and at the start of this sea­son but he’s in great form.

“I’m pleased for him just be­cause of the per­son he is. He’s a great team man, he’s al­ways smil­ing, al­ways will­ing to work hard off the field, al­ways will­ing to work hard around the play­ers and the re­al­ity is he’s al­ways will­ing to lis­ten and al­ways will­ing to be coached and take ad­vice.

“I’m so happy when stuff like that hap­pens for peo­ple who put in the hard work.

“He shows a lot of heart and that you can’t coach.

“I just think the thing that makes Ol­lie is good is ob­vi­ously he’s strong and fast but he’s will­ing to put in the ex­tra work and learn and be coach­able.

“His at­ti­tude his right, the way he trains is the way he plays, there’s no half mea­sures with him and that’s great for us.

“There are play­ers around him that cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties and it is a team sport but like I said it’s play­ers like him that when the bad times are there he stays pos­i­tive and there­fore I’m so pleased he can ex­pe­ri­ence the good part of it as well.”

Thor­ley’s form has even prompted talk that the 22-year-old could make a late run to force his way into Eng­land’s 2019 World Cup squad.

“It’s great for Eng­land rugby that there’s an­other winger on the rise and it in­creases the ta­lent pool,” said Ack­er­mann.

“The best thing for Ol­lie is to keep play­ing like he is, keep work­ing on the things he can im­prove and things will look after it­self.

“If play­ers start los­ing form that are ahead of him then ob­vi­ously he’s go­ing to put a lot of pres­sure on them and the re­al­ity is if he plays well for us, he can con­trol that side, things will hap­pen for him.”

Ja­son Wood­ward of Glouces­ter skips past the chal­lenge of An­ton Bresler of Worces­ter durl­ing last Satur­day’s win at King­sholm

»Former Glouces­ter and Eng­land A coach Keith Richard­son

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