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."
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.
Gloucester travel to Italy this weekend to take on Zebre in Round Four of the European Rugby Challenge Cup. The Cherry and Whites defeated the Italian side 35-10 last Sunday, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys is looking for an improved performance in the return fixture.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees, speaking to GRTV after the 35-10 over Zebre, was happy with the bonus point win over the Italian side but admitted Gloucester will need to tighten up for the return fixture in Parma.
Matt Kvesic was a try scorer and recipient of the Man of the Match award in Sunday's 35-10 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Zebre. He praised the Italian side for their spirited opposition and admitted that next week's return game will be a tough one.