Jamie Gibbs Ready For Derby Day
With a 126 First XV caps to his name, Richmond scrum-half Jamie Gibbs knows a thing or two about local derbies.
The 33-year-old, who has been at Richmond for the last eight seasons, knows too well the extent and significance of the Park rivalry.
“It’s always been a very special fixture. Both clubs have an enormous history and it’s a massive rivalry, played in front of big crowds”, Gibbs said.
“The reality is Rosslyn Park are just up the road. They’re three miles away and both clubs are competing for players, members and fans within the same area.
“There’s not much love lost, but we love playing against each other and no doubt Saturday’s match will live up to the hype and expectations.”
Richmond, who have secured nine wins from 10 matches this season, hold an impressive seven point advantage over their nearest rivals, with Rosslyn Park and Blackheath both tied in second position.
Last Saturday, Richmond hit top gear away against Canterbury with a thumping 50 point win against the bottom placed club, in which they scored eight tries, including a spectacular score by Louis Lynagh on debut.
While Rosslyn Park were held to a frustrating 27-27 draw at home against Chinnor and will be aiming to hit back hard strongly to reduce the deficit at the top of the league.
For the experienced Gibbs who will look to make his 127th First XV appearance, Saturday's fixture will prove the ultimate test against one of Richmond’s fiercest rivals.
“There’s no doubt this will be the biggest fixture of the season so far”, Gibbs said.
“Playing Rosslyn Park at home is always a huge occasion but to have the opportunity to move even further ahead in the league, with a big victory over them, is a massive incentive for us.
“Park are in great form, they will be frustrated by last week’s result, but as always will bring a huge amount of physically to the contest. They’re an abrasive side, they’ve got an extremely strong back-row and their backs are a big threat.
“We will need to be calm and confident in our own half. Stick to our processes in defence and when we do get the opportunity to attack, we need to be accurate and score points.”
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