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Gloucester’s recruitment of New Zealand All Black Jeremy Thrush post the World Cup prompted one supporter to suggest on social media that the club had the perfect mix of locks for next season.

He may be right, but his list of options showed how true the phrase “out of sight, out on mind” really is, as one player signed for the current campaign awaits his debut, even though he’s been at Gloucester since October.

Mariano Galarza injured his left shoulder playing for Argentina against Australia in Mendoza the day before he was due to fly to Kingsholm and and link up with the squad. 15 weeks later, he told me there is light at
the end of a long tunnel.

” It was bad that when I arrived I needed surgery and the improvement was slow” he said. “The last three weeks have been much better and it has improved a lot and I am hoping that in between four and six weeks
I can be playing. My target is the first week of March and the strength and conditioning coaches are pushing me all the time. It is hard but I want to do my best every single day. I’m not doing contact training yet and maybe for the first couple of games I will be a bit tired but the more minutes you have, the better your form can become.”

There is never a good time to be injured, let alone in a World Cup year. The 28 year old has 24 caps for the Pumas and also had a long spell on the sidelines three years ago when his other shoulder was damaged, so
understandably he wants to get some sharpness before the build up to the tournament really kicks in.

” I’m not really thinking about the World Cup at the moment because my target is getting my shoulder right and trying to gain a place in the Gloucester team” Galarza went on. ” I was at Worcester last season, and the chance to come here I saw as a step forward and a move to a bigger club. When you arrive you have energy and you want to show what you can bring to the team. When you cannot do that it is frustrating and I don’t want my first game at Kingsholm to be for Argentina in the World Cup. I would prefer it to be for Gloucester.”

Galarza is enthused by the signing of Jeremy Thrush, in his words “a fantastic player who brings good skills, strength and leadership” but that’s for the future. He wants to add his own middle jumping expertise to the Gloucester second row mix for the final lap of a season which still has a lot in it.

“The wins over Exeter and Saracens were a turning point” said Galarza, who has already endeared himself
to the staff around the club with his genial nature. “Before that we would have a good game and then a bad game, we were not consistent. In the last month we have had that consistency. You can feel now there is a good energy in the players. They are hungry, and they are doing a great job.”

Galarza smiles. “I am joining them for the best part of the year. I hope the coaches put me in the team and maybe I can enjoy the glory with everyone.”

Photograph : Copyright http://www.zimbio.com

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