There’s always a warm reception awaiting any opposition player from The Shed at Gloucester’s Kingsholm ground.
We take on the Cherry and Whites today and playing in front of The Shed is what makes our job such good fun.
As a player, I love a bit of banter. It’s what makes the game what it is. And there is banter in droves from The Shed. Some of it is sharp and witty. Some of it is a little more base!
I’ve had some stick in the past but it’s sort of a back-handed compliment. If was bitter about what has been said to me and about me in my career, I would have given up ages ago. It’s all part and parcel of being a professional.
The men and ladyfolk of Gloucester who stand in The Shed help make it a superb atmosphere at Kingsholm and, like at Sixways, you feel they are very close to the pitch.
I doubt it will just be the crowd giving me a bit of stick today. I was lucky enough to go on Mike Tindall’s stag do in the summer and there were plenty of Mike’s team mates on that, as you would expect.
I know some of their boys really well and even met them for a drink this week in the build-up to the game.
Tom Voyce will be giving out some terrible banter as usual. I like playing against Nick Wood, he’s a good lad. And my old Leicester Tigers team mate Brett Deacon is injured which is a shame because it would have been good to play against each other.
If we can come away with a result, it will have been a great start to the season for us.
There was relief and delight in the Warriors dressing room last weekend, when we marked our return to the Aviva Premiership with an opening day win at home against Sale.
It was great to taste victory, in front of our home fans and against a Sale side that will get better over time with Steve Diamond in charge.
Our supporters at Sixways were superb and made a lot of noise - and we needed their support too because Sale were very confrontational.
It’s easy to forget that they have 10 players away at the World Cup I think and that would hurt any side.