Gloucester Rugby are delighted to announce today that, Sir Ian McGeechan, one of the legends of the modern game, is to work with Bryan Redpath and the coaching team.
Sir Ian, known universally around the world of rugby by his nickname of "Geech", almost needs no introduction such is his standing within the game.
Born in Leeds, he spent his entire club playing career with his home town team, Headingley, but represented Scotland at international level and toured with the British and Irish Lions in 1974 and 1977.
He has coached Scotland and Northampton and been Director of Rugby at Scotland and London Wasps.
However, he will be probably be known most for his involvement with the British and Irish Lions and his recently published autobiography was appropriately entitled "Lion Man".
He was the British and Irish Lions Head Coach in 1989, 1993, 1997 and 2009 whilst, in 2005, he coached the midweek side on the tour to New Zealand
His relationship with Gloucester Rugby Head Coach Bryan Redpath goes back many years and Redpath has come to regard Sir Ian as something of a mentor.
Redpath said today:
"I've known Geech for many years now and his record speaks for itself. In this game, you can't afford to stand still, you need to keep looking for ways to improve things."
"He is unique in the game of rugby union and the opportunity to work with him and benefit from his knowledge and experience is fantastic."
Sir Ian, who will work with Redpath in an advisory capacity, admitted that he is genuinely excited about the prospect of working in club rugby again.
"It's a terrific challenge. Gloucester as a club really do have so much potential. I think, as is shown by recent results, that things are certainly moving in the right direction under Bryan and the rest of the coaching staff."
"It's a great club, a real rugby club with a great stadium and tremendously loyal supporters. My job now is to work with Bryan with the aim of helping Gloucester take the next step and realise their massive potential."
"I'm very excited to be involved. I've already been around the training ground and met everyone and can't wait to get started."
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Gloucester may be coming off their best win of the season, the 38-16 victory over Wasps last weekend, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys admits that Sunday's trip to Saracens is an even tougher test.
Looking to try a new sport? Look no further than Walking Rugby as thanks to Gloucester Rugby you can come along and try out the fast-growing sport at taster sessions across the county, starting this Wednesday.
Gloucester return to European Rugby Challenge Cup action on Thursday evening with the visit of Stade Rochelais to Kingsholm (kick off 7:45pm). Early Bird ticket prices are available until 6:30pm on matchday.
Talk about a game of two halves. Things looked grim on Saturday as Gloucester trailed 0-6 to Bristol at half-time. However, Matt Scott's eighth try of the season got Gloucester off and running, and the visitors fell apart as the Cherry and Whites eased to a 26-18 bonus point Aviva Premiership win.