Jake Polledri, Gloucester Rugby’s summer signing from Hartpury College, says he is “enjoying” the intensity that comes with playing in the top-tier of English rugby.
Last season Hartpury ran away with the National 1 league title, winning every game they played. One standout performer throughout the season was rising prospect Jake Polledri. The back-rower signed for Gloucester at the start of this season and is already staking his claim for a first team spot.
The Italian U20 international made his first start in Thursday’s 61-16 demolition of Agen and the flanker made a strong case for further involvement in the side with a solid performance in which he scored his first try for the Cherry and Whites.
Speaking about being the chance to make his first start he said:
“It’s good to be given the opportunity, I’ve really started to fit in nicely and we’ve worked hard in training looking at a few shapes and it’s been really good. It’s a good challenge, it’s really high paced and it’s first team rugby so it’s been brilliant.”
The Bristol-born Polledri also spoke about the gap between Semi-Pro Hartpury and Gloucester saying:
“It’s a big step up. We played a good flowing rugby at Hartpury, so in terms of that it’s not changed too much but the pace, the intenisity and detail, you can imagine is a lot higher than playing in Nat 1. Also there’s a big difference obviously from training three times a week to full time. It’s a lot bigger in terms of intensity, but I feel that I’ve fitted in well and the boys have welcomed me in and I’m really enjoying it here.”
Polledri took his try with superb confidence, though it was an easy chance to score for the young forward. The ball came out of the scrum and Polledri was the first to react and get it over the line.
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With such a strong performance at a relatively young age it’s only expected for there to be demand for more involvement, but the former Hartpury man says he can only keep perfoming when he can and impressing the coaches.
“It’s always good to score your first try at Kingsholm but I don’t think I’ll get an easier chance than that. The ball just popped out of the scrum, and I put it over but yeah it was really good to get that first try. I think I’ve done my best out there, so we’ll just see what happens in training in terms of selection. But I feel I’ve done what I can, so we’ll see what the coaches say.”
Polledri will be back in action tonight for the Cherry and Whites in the A League as Gloucester United face Harlequins A at Kingsholm.