Press Pass: Opportunity knocks for Cherry

Press Pass: Opportunity knocks for Cherry

Get the latest from hooker Dave Cherry as he spoke with press ahead of Saturday's Guinness PRO14 clash with Zebre at Stadio Lanfranchi.

On the season so far

“It was frustrating at first. I was injured when we first came back from lockdown so I didn’t really get much game time and I had to bide my time.

"I think I came off the bench a few times and had some good impacts. It’s sad to see a player in your team get injured like Rambo, but I like to think I’ve taken the opportunity that has given me. I’ve tried to put the best foot forward and seize the opportunity of playing more, I guess.

“I get on really well with Stuart and you hate to see somebody injured, but rugby doesn’t stop and sometimes player just need a bit of an opportunity and I hope to show that with this game time I’m now getting."

On the prospect of international rugby

“I think about the here and now. A few people have been trying to get into me about that but firstly it was Glasgow last week, and now it is Zebre this week.

You can’t think too far ahead of yourself and get ahead of yourself. It is the here and now that is the important thing and my mind is purely focussed on Zebre at the weekend.

“It is absolutely a big deal, why does any young lad or lady start playing rugby? The peak is to play for your country.

"That’s what I want to do. It's my goal and it's closer than it has been, I’d say, so I just have to focus on myself and hopefully the stars will align.”

On facing Zebre and travelling to Italy

“It is just another game. Control the controllables. Do what I can do and park everything else that is going on the world, the medical department can deal with that.

"We’re just told where to be and when, and we just follow protocols, get on with it and focus on the game."

On coming off the bench during his Edinburgh career

“It is hard but I do think I had a few moments when I came on and 20 minutes was enough for me to show that I am capable of producing moments that change the game.

“Obviously you want to start and last week was great for me. I loved it. I can’t remember the last time I went 80 minutes.

"That’s where you want to be – in the starting jersey – so you just have to take the opportunity. That’s what we’re here for – to play sport hard and try to get that starting jersey."

On his journey to Edinburgh

"I’m well-travelled, I’ve been about the leagues. I always thought I was good enough to play at this level, but you’re right it was a big step up.

"But I’ve fitted in pretty well at Edinburgh and I’ve put in some good performances so I don’t think I’m a million miles off.

"Playing in the English Championship give you a different perspective. To get my first contract I really struggled to get anywhere.

"I had to call around a lot of coaches in the Championship and eventually through an agent I got to London Scottish.

"I had three years there where you’re doing every rep in training, you’re playing a lot of minutes and you’re training outside. It gives a bit of a reality check after being in a suite in BT Murrayfield.

"And then obviously I was in France, which was a completely different kettle of fish, where there’s no touch judges and it’s every man for himself.

"I guess that’s why I just focus on the here and now and my performance, and hope that things fall into place."

On his determination to play professional rugby

"I captained the under-18s and then for whatever reason it didn’t work out for me so I went away to university and got my degree.

"But I always said to my parents that I wanted to play rugby so I went and did it and was pro-active. I didn’t take no for an answer, I guess.

"Fraser Brown was my prefect back at school. He was a couple of years older than me but he occasionally moved to loosehead prop so I could play hooker, but I don’t think he was terribly happy about that back in the day."

On Head Coach Richard Cockerill helping his development

"He’s obviously played hooker himself. He’s big on detail and nailing your detail, with set-piece being vital for hookers.

"At this level you feed off each other, coach each other, but he’s played a big part in hammering home how important detail is, that if you get it right on the training paddock and it’ll come right on the Saturday."

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