THE DEMOLITION of Gloucester's Grandstand began yesterday - paving the way for the new development at Kingsholm.
The original stand, that was opened in 1932, is being replaced by more than 6,000 seats ahead of next season that will take Kingsholm's capacity to almost 17,000.
Ken Nottage, Gloucester's managing director told www.gloucesterrugby.co.uk "It is difficult to describe just how significant this development is to Gloucester Rugby and I am pretty sure that I speak for every member of staff at the club - on and off the field.
"I cannot praise highly enough the work that has been accomplished in the last few months to make a project of this size successful.
"We are a club who want to be challenging for the top honours in the game with the hugely exciting squad that is being assembled, and this off-field development will take Gloucester Rugby and Kingsholm to the next level.
"There is an awful lot of work to be accomplished but I am delighted such a great start has been made."
Yesterday, the old ticket office and parts of the Members' Bar were demolished following the soft demolition on Sunday and by the end of the week, demolition on the main Grandstand will have started.
Sean Roberts, Operations Manager, added: "This is a great step forward, work is on schedule and although it sad to see such a famous old structure demolished, Gloucester Rugby is moving towards a bright future - something that everybody at the club wants.
"Over the coming weeks, the Grandstand will go, the site will be cleared and then foundation and ducting work on the new build will begin."
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.