Paddy Anson reflects on first day of preseason training
27 June 2014 11:32am
By Duncan Wood
The first batch of Gloucester Rugby players reported back for preseason training on Thursday, and Head of Strength and Conditioning Paddy Anson provided an update after a tough day's work.
The Prince of Wales Stadium in Cheltenham was the venue for some track work on Thursday afternoon, with the various groups of players doing a series of 100m, 400m, 800m and 1500m runs.
Many of the new signings were present, as well as the majority of the existing squad, minus those who have been away with international teams, and Paddy praised the work done so far but stressed there is much more to do.
"I've been pretty pleased with the gym testing today but we still have some progress to make on the track work. That's to be expected as we asked the players to focus on certain areas while they were off.
"We've got five weeks left in this first phase to get to where we need to be, and we'll be putting in a huge effort to get there. The new coaches start to arrive soon, and it's the job of my team and myself to make sure the squad is ready physically.
"But, ultimately, they've all had a good offseason and worked very hard in certain areas, particularly in terms of their strength and power.
"We've deliberately set very high targets for the players to achieve this off season and it will test them. But we aspire to be the fittest team in the Premiership this season, and we won't achieve that without a lot of hard work.
"It's the first day and they'll be glad to have got it out of the way. There's plenty of work to be done, but we'll make sure it's varied and beneficial and I'm very positive about what lies ahead."
Speaking after the 15-3 Aviva Premiership defeat at Northampton, Director of Rugby David Humphreys couldn't criticise his team's effort in difficult conditions, but pinpointed the errors and indiscipline that allowed Stephen Myler to kick the home team to victory.
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Northampton away was the first Gloucester game under David Humphreys last season, but the Director of Rugby told the local media that the Cherry and Whites are a different proposition compared to 12 months ago and are looking forward to the challenge.
Having skippered Gloucester against the Barbarians last week, Nick Wood once again wore the captain's armband on Monday evening as Gloucester United kicked off their Aviva Premiership A League campaign with a bonus point win at Leicester.
Gloucester recorded a 32-20 win over La Rochelle on Thursday evening, and second row Jeremy Thrush was thrilled to pick up the victory on his first taste of a trip to France and the hostile atmosphere.
Gloucester were forced to battle for their 33-20 victory in La Rochelle on Thursday evening, something that centre Bill Meakes said that he and the squad were well prepared for as well as thanking the travelling support for the part they played.
Gloucester got off to a winning start in the European Rugby Challenge Cup last weekend, but Head Coach Laurie Fisher is expecting a much tougher challenge when the Cherry and Whites travel to La Rochelle for Thursday night's Round Two encounter.
After missing out on Gloucester's two recent European fixtures, Jonny May is back on the left wing for Friday evening's Aviva Premiership fixture at Northampton, while Mariano Galarza is named in the matchday squad for the first time this season.