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 straight after the game, skipper Billy Twelvetrees told GRTV that losing at home to Bath, in front of a tremendous home support, was desperately disappointing and that the whole team were hurting in the dressing room.
Speaking to the local media this week, Richard Hibbard expressed his excitement ahead of the West Country derby and that there is an extra spring in the step of the Cherry and Whites ahead of the tough challenge.
With such a short turnaround between the two games, and Gloucester looking to reintegrate several players into the line-up after the Autumn international series, Tom Savage told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will keep changes to a minimum for the European Rugby Challenge Cup game in Zebre on Saturday.
On a tough evening at Kingsholm, Gloucester could escape neither a suffocating Bath defence, nor the whistle of referee Greg Garner as six penalties and a penalty try paved the way to a 39-16 win for the visitors.