Gloucester Rugby's new look coaching team ahead of the 2014-15 season is taking shape with the news today that John Muggleton and Nick Walshe are joining the club.
Muggleton will be taking on the role of Defence Coach. The 54 year old is a former Australian Rugby League international, part of the 1982 touring team which became known as 'The Invincibles' when it won all 22 games on its tour of England and France.
Once his playing career was over, Sydney born Muggleton moved into coaching and was Defence Coach with the Wallabies for 10 years. His time in post covered the Rugby World Cup triumph in 1999 and a series victory over the British and Irish Lions.
A two year stint with the Scarlets was followed by a spell coaching Georgia at Rugby World 2011, before taking on the role of Defence Coach with the Melbourne Rebels from 2011 to 2013.
Regarded worldwide as one of rugby union's finest defensive minds, Muggleton will now bring his considerable experience to work with Gloucester.
Joining Muggleton at Kingsholm will be Nick Walshe as the club's new Backs & Attack Coach. The 39 year old former scrum half enjoyed a lengthy playing career, but has most recently caught the eye as the coach of the England U20s side.
Under his leadership, the England U20s side lifted the IRB Junior World Championship title for the very first time in 2013, then successfully defended their championship last week in New Zealand.
Walshe possesses considerable knowledge of the Premiership having represented Harlequins, Saracens, Sale, Bath and Bedford as well as earning international recognition with England.
He embarked upon his coaching career at Bedford as a player/ backs coach and subsequently joined the RFU Elite Rugby Department as Interim Head Coach of the England U20s
Announcing the appointments today, CEO Stephen Vaughan confirmed that he's delighted with how things are shaping up ahead of the new season.
"I'm delighted that John and Nick are joining us as we prepare for the forthcoming season and we're very much looking forward to them starting in post shortly.
"I make no apology for the fact that we've taken our time with these appointments, but we wanted to make sure that we got absolutely the right individuals in place and that can take time.
"John possesses a wealth of defensive knowhow. He's got a ton of experience at the very highest level and we're delighted to have someone of his calibre on board.
"And Nick Walshe is one of the brightest young coaching talents around. What he's achieved with the England U20s in the past couple of years has been magnificent. A number of our players have already worked with him over the past few seasons of course as part of that set up.
"They've been playing a great brand of rugby, and we're delighted that he'll now be working with our back line, which has the potential to be amongst the very best in the game.
"There are obviously still other appointments to be made, but we're making real progress and hope to be able to make some further announcements soon. I'm delighted with how things are shaping up."
Previewing Friday evening's local derby at Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell told the local media that Gloucester's preparations have gone well and that the whole squad is united in trying to finish the season on a high.
Speaking to GRTV this week, Acting Head Coach Jonny Bell spoke of his pleasure in the efforts and intensity in training from the squad after a tricky few weeks. The team were preparing for big games with Bristol and Cardiff in coming weeks.
Willi Heinz was understandably and visibly disappointed when he spoke to GRTV after the 27-30 home defeat to Harlequins, apologising to the home support as the game slipped away after seemingly having the game under control.
Speaking to the local media this week, Scottish centre Matt Scott spoke of the squad's determination to put in a big home performance against Harlequins, with vital points up for grabs in the hunt for a Top Six spot this Saturday (KO 3pm)
Looking ahead to Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Harlequins (kick off 3pm), Head Coach Laurie Fisher told the local media that Gloucester will need to be on top of their game in a match which has big implications in terms of top six ambitions.
A big few days for the Gloucester-Hartpury Women side. First came the news that the team will compete in Women's Super Rugby next season, and on Saturday the team will play Worcester Ladies IIs at Kingsholm. Centre Hannah Jones and wing Michelle Ruddock spoke to GRTV this week to reflect on events.
Missing so many starters, and up against a team fighting for their Premiership existence, Gloucester did what had to be done at Ashton Gate on Friday evening battling their way to a 32-14 Aviva Premiership win over Bristol Rugby.