Nick David – We’re learning quickly under Mark Jones

Wing Nick David talks about playing first-team rugby and working with new Senior Assistant Coach Mark Jones as the squad continue their build-up to Exeter Chiefs game at Sixways on 30 January.

Nick, the team had a week off last week, do you sense everyone is refreshed and ready to go again?
Definitely, we’re all revitalised and looking good in training. The week off helped us have a mental break as well as a physical one and you can really see it has paid off with the high spirits and morale in training.

You’ve got two week before Exeter which gives you a good amount of time with new coach Mark Jones.
Yes it’s Mark’s first week here so we’re working on the new system in defence and the boys are adapting well and learning quickly. He’s a really good coach, he knows what we wants from us and is straight to the point. I think that will be key for us moving forward as a team. We’ve got a big game next week and we’re building well towards it.

You’ve been a regular in the Gallagher Premiership this campaign, how much did it help getting some experience last year, including a debut try against Bath?
I’ve really appreciated the opportunity to play week in week out and it has given me the chance to put training ground work into match situations. I’ve played against lots of teams and style now and I think it will only help me going forward.

You are near the top of the charts for clean breaks and defenders beaten across the league, are you enjoying your rugby at the moment?
I didn’t know those stats but I’m pretty happy so far. The team have done a lot of good things in attack to put me in those positions and as a winger you want to have those one-on-one opportunities to show what you can do.

There’s been a lot of talk about finishing, is that still a big focus in training?
Definitely, we know as a team that we have made the most entries into the opponents’ 22 so it’s about converting that pressure into points and it’s been a big target for us. As soon as that happens the results will start falling for us.

You’ve come through the Three Pears Academy alongside Ollie Lawrence, Ted Hill, Oli Morris and others. Is it enjoyable to have a young group building together?
Absolutely, I’ve known all those boys for a number of years now and we’re all compatible and get on well. We’re not afraid to give each other constructive criticism to help improve individually and as a team so we can achieve our goals.

What’s it been like playing in front of no fans?
It was bizarre in that first game back against Gloucester in August but we know it’s not in our control. We are really itching to have the supporters back again because they really do bring the energy on matchdays.

What would be your message to the fans watching at home?
Keep the faith in us, because we are working so hard and hopefully they can see the opportunities we are creating in attack, and it’s only  matter of time before it all comes together. We really appreciate the support so keep it up!

What’s the target for the rest of the season?
We do take it one game at a time but we know we have a block of nine Premiership games coming up so we definitely want to be getting the wins we know we deserve to climb up the table.