Lloyd Evans has revealed his relationship with Danny Cipriani changed when the England international felt that the youngster was threatening his starting position.
Cipriani left Gloucester with immediate effect in December last year, in a move that took many fans of the Cherry and Whites by surprise.
In his absence, Evans has become Gloucester’s regular starting fly-half with Scottish international Adam Hastings set to join the club from the start of next season.
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Cipriani had acted as something of a mentor to Evans, now 25, but once the competition between the two men for the Gloucester 10 jersey heated up, their relationship changed.
“Early on, he was brilliant. He knows the game so well and he would talk to us young players about how he did what he did. He spent a good amount of time with us. I learnt a lot. He left a big impression on me.
“But things did change. When I became more of a threat; competition for him. Obviously, all relationships change but I felt it, much more in that last six months or so.
“It’s difficult because I have so much respect for him as a player and a person. But as I say, I was getting picked more often. It changed things between us. And you need that, you need to feel that edge in sport. It’s important,” Evans told The XV.
‘You need to feel uncomfortable.’
Gloucester have struggled to find form since Cipriani’s departure and currently sit at the bottom of the Gallagher Premiership table.
While Evans may find his game time limited once Scotland’s Hastings arrives at the club, the Gloucester academy graduate is relishing another battle for the 10 shirt.
“I’m really looking forward to it [Hastings’ arrival]. As I say, I know him a little from playing a couple of times with him when he was at Hartpury before Bath.
“Yes, he’s competition for my position but people have to understand that is what you need.
“You need to feel uncomfortable. You can’t develop unless people are putting pressure on you. Adam is an incredible player with exactly the skill-set we need at Gloucester. He will make me a better player. There is nothing not to be excited about,” Evans commented.