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."
Gloucester will field a reshuffled side against the Ospreys in the LV= Cup this weekend, but Backs & Attack Coach Nick Walshe stressed that it's a great opportunity for everyone on duty on Saturday and that maintaining the recent winning run is very important.
Skipper Billy Twelvetrees told GRTV after the win in Brive that the game could have been a tough one to get up for, but that his Gloucester team mates did themselves proud on the night and got a big result.
Reflecting on the 31-20 victory in Brive on Thursday evening, Director of Rugby David Humphreys said that clinching a home European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final was the overall aim and duly achieved.
Gloucester may have already clinched a home European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys wants his side to finish the pool stages on a winning note in Brive on Thursday evening.
Speaking after Saturday's win, James Hudson was happy to record a bonus-point win against a hugely physical Oyonnax side as Gloucester secured their passage into the European Rugby Challenge Cup Quarter Finals
Gloucester Rugby have added to their front row strength in depth for next season with the signings of Paul Doran-Jones, Paddy McAllister and Nicky Thomas from Harlequins, Aurillac and the Ospreys respectively.