Gloucester Rugby flanker Andy Hazell, who will celebrate his testimonial match against a Bath Rugby XV on August 15th, told the Gloucester Citizen this week that the squad are working harder than ever.
The England international, who has made nearly 200 first team appearances for his home town club, has been impressed by the attitude and commitment of his team mates in preseason training.
"We are working harder than ever because everyone is so enthusiastic. It's not that we haven't worked hard before, but it really is an enjoyable place to be at the moment."
He's seen a few preseasons in his time at the club but is adamant that this one ranks amongst the most enjoyable.
"We have changed a lot of the things were are doing, and some of the emphasis on the way we are looking to play. Everyone is doing things with a smile on their faces."
"(Fitness coach) Mark Bitcon is doing his first pre-season, and with Bryan (Redpath) as Head Coach there's a whole new feeling about the squad."
"There's a really good vibe at the moment. A lot of responsibility has been switched to the players. We're out on the field and in a position to influence things and, if we're not happy with something, then we're encouraged to speak up."
And the fact that Gloucester will face off against Bath twice in a matter of weeks hasn't escaped his attention.
"That'll be interesting! It'll be a bit of laugh and giggles for my game and then I'll want to rip his head off! And the feeling will probably be mutual."
"That's the nature of it and the first Guinness Premiership game of the season being Bath at Kingsholm will be massive. Every year, the first game is a huge one but Bath is that little bit extra special."
Speaking to GRTV after the 40-29 Aviva A League win over Wasps Rugby, Academy Coach Rich Whiffin explained his pride in the squad to overcome a strong opponent and book their spot in next week's Aviva A League final.
Willi Heinz returned from injury to skipper Gloucester to a famous 16-14 win over Stade Rochelais on Saturday evening. Speaking after the game in France, Heinz admitted the win wasn't pretty but was full of courage and a great result for the club.
Billy Burns contributed all Gloucester's points in the 16-14 European Rugby Challenge Cup win in La Rochelle on Saturday evening, but dedicated the victory to the whole squad whilst also praising the travelling support.
Speaking after Gloucester's brave 16-14 win against Stade Rochelais which clinches a European Rugby Challenge Cup final spot, Director of Rugby David Humphreys paid tribute to the way the team had executed the game plan in a hostile environment against quality opposition.
Greig Laidlaw returns to the Gloucester Rugby squad this week, and his inclusion is an important one after a serious ankle injury. The Scottish scrum half is determined to drive the team forward in their European Rugby Challenge Cup semi final in La Rochelle this Saturday.
Gloucester take on La Rochelle in the European Rugby Challenge Cup semi-final in France on Saturday evening, with the Top 14 side the favourites in the eyes of the bookmakers. However, David Humphreys is looking for his side to rise to the occasion against a familiar opponent.
Speaking to GRTV after Saturday's 39-30 Aviva Premiership win over Sale, Mark Atkinson admitted that the performance wasn't perfect but that the team's character shone through in a game that could easily have slipped away.
Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw is targeting a 'unique' finish to his Gloucester tenure in the European Rugby Challenge Cup final at the venue where his professional playing career began, BT Murrayfield Stadium (Friday 12 May).
Gloucester's young United side once again dug deep to take an illustrious scalp, overturning a half-time deficit to earn a 40-29 victory over Wasps and earn a place in the Aviva Premiership A League final.