Luke Eves backing fellow centre Jack Gadd to have a big future at Bristol
LUKE Eves knows what it takes to establish yourself in the Bristol midfield as a young player – and he is backing Jack Gadd to seize his opportunity over the coming weeks.
Gadd, 21, started Sunday's Championship opener against Newcastle – and, with Bryan Rennie, Fautua Otto, Matt Williams, George Watkins and Jack Tovey unlikely to return from injury any time soon, he is expected to enjoy an extended first-team run.
Gadd showed some promise in Sunday's 37-20 defeat and is likely to get another chance to show head coach Liam Middleton what he is capable of at Doncaster on Friday evening.
And Eves, who became a regular in the Bristol side as a teenager, is tipping his midfield partner – and fellow youngster Ryan Edwards, who impressed on the wing against Newcastle – to make the most of their chance to shine.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
"I thought there were a few positives on Sunday: I thought Ryan and Jack did well and we now know those boys can step up when asked," said Eves, pictured. "We want a squad that, if someone is injured, someone else walks straight in.
"I don't think that will be the last we'll see of those boys. Jack is a fellow centre and I know what he's been through with injuries, so I just want him to get confident and he will be a really great player for Bristol.
"I thought, as a back-line, a lot of things came off for us. We were unfortunate some execution was off, but I thought we caused them a lot of problems in the backs. We scored two tries through our backs and we are happy with that as a set of backs."
Considering the number of players they had missing on Sunday – Jason Hobson and Adrian Jarvis were ruled out and Alafoti Faosiliva and Gaston Cortes are yet to arrive in the country – Bristol could take heart from their display.
"I think we came away with our heads held high," said Eves. "There was always going to be a bit of rustiness in the first game, but I think we can hold our heads high. I didn't think the scoreline reflected the game – I know that's an old cliché, but I really thought we did a good job for 50-60 minutes there.
"We're always going to come up against hard opposition in this league – and none more so than Newcastle. That is why Liam got us tough fixtures in the off-season. We were well prepared and we'll go onwards and upwards from here.
"We always knew Newcastle were going to be tough – they are the favourites, but, as we know, it's a long old season. I think they are a side to beat this season, along with Pirates. I they will certainly be in the top four. But that game has gone now, so we'll review it and let it go and move on to Doncaster."
Bristol were yesterday assessing the head injury suffered late in Sunday's game by Marco Mama.
Bristol scrum-half Callum Braley, 18, has been named in the England Under-20 Elite Player Squad for the 2012-13 season.
The 32-man squad will look to defend the Under-20 Six Nations title in the spring, before heading to France for the IRB Junior World Championship next June.
Head coach Rob Hunter said: "We're excited to work with the players in our squad. We have some guys back who played for us last season and five who played at Under-18 level last campaign. It's an exciting, skilful and powerful group. Competition for places will be high, but that's just what you want."