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."
Speaking to the local media this week, front row forward John Afoa spoke of the squad's targets for this weekend's European Rugby Challenge Cup Quarter Final with Cardiff Blues at Kingsholm. Despite taking on new opponents, the squad know the focus is on themselves to get the job done as knockout rugby kicks in.
Gloucester-Hartpury Women take on West Park Leeds Ladies in the final of the Intermediate Cup Final on Saturday. Head Coach Susie Appleby took time out to preview the game and chat about the future for the team.
Number eight Ben Morgan admitted that the 32-14 Aviva Premiership win over Bristol on Friday evening hadn't been pretty at times, but that the win was based on everyone in the squad remaining united and working for each other.
Previewing Friday evening's local derby at Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell told the local media that Gloucester's preparations have gone well and that the whole squad is united in trying to finish the season on a high.
Speaking to GRTV this week, Acting Head Coach Jonny Bell spoke of his pleasure in the efforts and intensity in training from the squad after a tricky few weeks. The team were preparing for big games with Bristol and Cardiff in coming weeks.
Willi Heinz was understandably and visibly disappointed when he spoke to GRTV after the 27-30 home defeat to Harlequins, apologising to the home support as the game slipped away after seemingly having the game under control.
In the aftermath of the Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell was able to look forward to this weekend's European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final against Cardiff Blues (Kingsholm, kick off 8:05pm).