Heineken Cup - Round 6
Redpath backs Phillips to earn deal
January 17, 2012
Ollie Phillips impressed for Stade but was released over the summer © Getty Images
Gloucester boss Bryan Redpath has backed Ollie Phillips to prove to him that he is worthy of a permament deal at Kingsholm but is adamant the former IRB World Sevens Player of the Year must work for his contract.
Phillips joined the Cherry and Whites last week on a short-term deal until the end of the season. The Kingsholm side have seen Lesley Vainikolo depart through the exit doors to La Rochelle recently and also have fullback Olly Morgan suffering with a long-term injury. But Phillips, who left Stade Francais in the summer, has already made an impression to Redpath despite having featured in a couple of training sessions.
"Ollie covers the back three, he's a dangerous runner, he works hard, he's a good bloke and he's got bags of energy around the squad, so he can add to that as well," Redpath told the Gloucester Citizen. "And we're going to need players over the next few weeks with the Anglo-Welsh Cup coming up and internationals, and players being away with the Saxons.
"So he's straight into the fire this week. There's no doors closed, it's a door open for him coming in and performances are key. Whoever performs well, to get another contract at this club or another club, that's really important for them.
"That's what we'll look at, the same as everyone else, and there are opportunities there certainly."
And ahead of their clash with Toulouse on Friday, Redpath has called on his charges to perform and has highlighted Mike Tindall as one who has struggled in recent times. "I still think he's not playing as free as he should be, but the majority of the team had some reasonable performances," Redpath said. "It was a little lack of experience from Jonny [May] when he didn't kick that ball away at the end, but that's something he'll learn from in that position.
"But a lot of performances were a lot better, and that's what we need. Henry [Trinder] will always push Eli [Fuimaono-Sapolu] and Tinds, and that's what you want from your backline.
"Some of it was better, but again that comes from attitude and mindset, and those were far better than the previous week. We need to recover well and make sure that those attributes are top drawer again on Friday.
"We've got to be really dogged, go at them from the off and keep at them."
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