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."
Gloucester meet the Exeter Chiefs for the fourth time in competitive action this weekend, this time in the semi-final of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. Director of Rugby David Humphreys told the local media this week that this is the sort of game that Gloucester want to be involved in on a regular basis and that he and his team are looking forward to it.
Following the 29-26 loss to Harlequins, club captain Billy Twelvetrees spoke of his disappointment that the Cherry and Whites were unable to cash in on the home side's indiscipline and lose a lead on Saturday afternoon.
Number eight Gareth Evans admitted to a collective feeling of frustration as Gloucester lost narrowly at Harlequins on Saturday, but insisted that there are plenty of positives to draw upon ahead of next Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter.
Gloucester travel to the Stoop on Saturday afternoon to take on Harlequins in the Aviva Premiership. The Cherry and Whites make just two changes from last weekend's win over Connacht as they seek consistency and continuity in their play as Nick Walshe told the local media this week.
Speaking to GRTV after the final whistle, Tom Palmer praised the Cherry and Whites concentration and desire to hold on to a narrow 14-7 victory. The second row topped the tackle charts with 19 as he led the home team's resistance.
Supporters who are still to purchase tickets for Saturday's European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final at home to Exeter Chiefs at Kingsholm (kick off 7:45pm) are reminded that Early Bird prices are only valid until 6:30pm on Thursday evening.
The Gloucester Wheelchair Rugby team travelled to Fenton Manor Complex, Stoke on Trent last Saturday to take part in the final round of the GBWR Super Series of the season, knowing just one win would be enough to crown them Division 3 Champions.