Mike Ruddock has praised the impact of Craig Gillies in the opening weeks of the season and believes the lock can be a major force in the Guinness Premiership - but admits the pressure is mounting for places in the second row.
Lock giant Gillies has been outstanding in the opening two league games and Director of Rugby Ruddock believes the new law changes have seen his importance grow.
But Ruddock acknowledges that he must keep his form up with Will Bowley, Graham Kitchener and David Lyons all keen to stake a claim for a starting jersey.
"Craig can deliver a certain performance which would make him a stand-out player - that has happened so far this season," said Ruddock.
"When I clocked the law changes - particularly with the maul coming back - I thought there will probably less continuity and phase play rugby in the game and a lot more kicking because of the new tackle law and, to a certain degree, the ELVs as well.
"Put together, it all pointed to me that Craig's ability in the line-out would serve him well. Firstly, it allows us to pressurise the other line-outs, which will be more frequent because of the extra kicking to touch, and Craig certainly did that against Leeds.
"Secondly, the line-out ball we get now is at a premium because if you are possibly going to get turned over in the tackle area, the last thing you want to do is get turned over in the line-out too.
"Craig has played well against Northampton and Leeds and will be full of confidence, so it is up to the other guys to put him under pressure for his place. You're only as good as your last game, but Craig played a fantastic last game, so he has to keep those standards up now.
"Young Graham Kitchener, Will Bowley and David Lyons played really well for the 'A' team this week, so they are putting the pressure on Craig.
"Although he has been around the block - both in terms of his experience and his time at Worcester - we are hoping that Craig can still improve his game," added Ruddock.
"He hopes that too and he is seeing more and more players going on into their mid-thirties, for example Simon Shaw was a revelation on the Lions tour at the age of 36, so Craig has still got ambitions to play for England and, if he keeps on improving, you never know."