Gloucester Rugby held their annual Open Day for the first time at Gloucester Docks on Bank Holiday Monday and were rewarded by an estimated 4,500 people coming to meet their heroes.
The full Gloucester Rugby squad were in attendance from just after 2pm onwards, arriving in three groups after they finished their training preparations for this weekend's vital Guinness Premiership opener against Bath (Sunday Sep 6th, kick off 3:30pm).
It's fair to say that the first 10 players who arrived were duly mobbed but those fans who waited patiently benefitted from seeing the whole squad arrive in due course.
The players and coaches were happy to sign posters which featured the 2009-10 team photo and pose for pictures.
There were numerous giveaways. Main sponsor Jewson estimated that they handed out 2,500 pens, pads and pencils, 500 woolly hats, 500 caps, 1000 water bottles and 3000 T shirts! Many of these items were signed and tranformed from freebie into cherished momento of a great day.
The Gloucester Rugby Community department set up their own bungee run for the kids to try out and there were a number of other challenges courtesy of the RFU Roadshow notably goalkicking, tackling bags and a lineout simulator.
Gloucester Rugby's Community Manager Gary Little felt that the day had been a great success and justified the decision to hold the event at the Docks.
"Last year, we suffered the disappointment of seeing the event, which was due to have been staged at Kingsholm, rained off. So, moving the event to the Docks has proved to be a great success in that respect."
"Seeing so many people here enjoying themselves and meeting the players and coaches is reward in itself and I'd like to thank everyone who played a part in staging the event."
For those who enquired about a behind the scenes tour of Kingsholm which has featured in previous events held at the stadium, there is the opportunity to do so this coming Friday.
Please email the Gloucester Rugby Community department for details at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Speaking to the local media this week, Scottish centre Matt Scott spoke of the squad's determination to put in a big home performance against Harlequins, with vital points up for grabs in the hunt for a Top Six spot this Saturday (KO 3pm)
Looking ahead to Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Harlequins (kick off 3pm), Head Coach Laurie Fisher told the local media that Gloucester will need to be on top of their game in a match which has big implications in terms of top six ambitions.
A big few days for the Gloucester-Hartpury Women side. First came the news that the team will compete in Women's Super Rugby next season, and on Saturday the team will play Worcester Ladies IIs at Kingsholm. Centre Hannah Jones and wing Michelle Ruddock spoke to GRTV this week to reflect on events.
Missing so many starters, and up against a team fighting for their Premiership existence, Gloucester did what had to be done at Ashton Gate on Friday evening battling their way to a 32-14 Aviva Premiership win over Bristol Rugby.