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."
Defence Coach Jonny Bell admitted this week that the European Rugby Challenge Cup victory in Bayonne was a welcome one, stressed that Benetton Treviso will pose a tough test on Saturday at Kingsholm but that Gloucester are determined to deliver in front of their own fans.
Motu Matu'u is looking to make up for lost time this week as the Cherry and Whites head to Basque Country to take on Bayonne in the European Rugby Challenge Cup opener. The Samoan hooker made his first appearance in the jersey last weekend, and is hoping to contribute to the team this weekend.
Gloucester's attentions turn to Europe this weekend as they travel to Bayonne for their opening fixture of this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup. Forwards Coach Trevor Woodman told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will be aiming to top their pool as they've done for the past two seasons, but is well aware of how tough it is to win in France.
Although understandably disappointed at seeing victory slip away at the last minute, Ben Morgan said after the game at Exeter that there were plenty of positives that Gloucester could take from the game.
Speaking after a last-gasp try from Exeter earned the Chiefs a 27-27 draw at Sandy Park on Saturday, Charlie Sharples admitted to mixed feelings. The game saw him score a try on his 200th competitive appearance for the club, but the frustration from not closing out the win was clear.
David Humphreys was minutes away from a winning interview on Saturday afternoon, but a late try from Exeter Chiefs meant the points were shared at Sandy Park. Humphreys spoke with the local media after the 27-27 draw.
Speaking to the media ahead of Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture away at Exeter Chiefs, Director of Rugby David Humphreys reiterated that there are elements of Gloucester's game that are in good shape at present, that the performance against Bath was a step forward from Newcastle but that individual errors are costing the Cherry and Whites dear.
Centre Matt Scott, a try-scorer in Bayonne last weekend, insists that Gloucester are taking nothing for granted when they welcome Benetton Treviso to Kingsholm on Saturday in the European Rugby Challenge Cup (kick off 3pm).