Paddy Anson reflects on first day of preseason training
27 June 2014 11:32
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 to the local media this week ahead of the Bath Rugby game, Head Coach Laurie Fisher stressed that the fundamental shape of Gloucester's game is in good shape but that the Cherry and Whites have to look after the ball better and make more of their scoring opportunities.
Skipper for the day Willi Heinz faced the cameras after the 13-18 home loss to Newcastle and expressed real frustration at not being able to back up last week's win at Sale, calling it a performance he and his team-mates are not proud of.
Speaking after the game, Charlie Sharples described it as 'the win that has eluded us.' The winger stressed that Gloucester had stayed positive after the first couple of weeks of the Aviva Premiership season and the 26-13 victory over Sale was a result of that focus.
Gloucester Rugby picked up their first win of the new Aviva Premiership season on Friday night, easing to a 26-13 win on the road at Sale Sharks. Director of Rugby David Humphreys was full of praise for his players on the night.
Greig Laidlaw is back to skipper Gloucester Rugby in Saturday's Aviva Premiership derby game against Bath Rugby at Kingsholm. James Hook will make his first start of the season at full-back and Billy Twelvetrees will make his 100th competitive appearance for the club.
Wednesday evening saw the launch of the Cherry and White Wednesday show on the Drivetime programme on BBC Radio Gloucestershire, with Henry Trinder live in the studio to kick off a regular weekly slot.