Taking a welcome break following a weights session under the watchful eye of Gloucester Rugby's strength and conditioning team, new Gloucester Rugby signing Tom Voyce reflected on preseason to date and how it feels to be back in the West Country.
Winger Voyce joins Gloucester for the 2009-10 season from Guinness Premiership rivals London Wasps.
Eager to hit the ground running as he embarks upon his Gloucester career, Voyce confessed that he'd been amongst the first group of players reporting in for preseason training.
"I came back early to start training because I didn't have any post season tours to go on and I wanted to get back early and get ahead of the game."
"I'm glad to have done so because I've had chance to get in the gym and put a little bit of weight on which I can then trim down ready for the start of the season."
The England international wing has, of course, been on summer tours with the national set up in the past but is feeling the benefits of a short break from the game before reporting back.
"It has happened in the past, for example, when I moved from Bath to Wasps and I had the summer off. I think it's benefitted me a lot because I recharged my batteries and then reported back early with some of the other boys."
"When you come back late, for whatever reason, you can feel as though you're playing catch up but I'm not in that situation this year."
Originally from Cornwall, it was just down the road at Bath Rugby where Tom kicked off his professional rugby career, spending six years at the Rec before moving to Adams Park and he admitted that he'd jumped at the chance to move back West.
"It's fantastic to be back in the West Country, I'm really enjoying it. I've always been a bit of a country guy and my family are from these parts and obviously there's a bit of history with Gloucester with my great uncle."
"I'm really pleased to be back, I'm looking forward to the challenge and hopefully bringing something to the table in terms of my own personal contribution."
Having spent the majority of his time so far at the training ground at Hartpury and, with the preseason friendlies now only weeks away, Tom was asked about the prospects of playing in front of the Shed.
(Laughs) "When I've played at Kingsholm before, with Wasps or with Bath, I've always had an interesting reception!"
"But I've loved it really, in front of the Shed, I love that kind of banter and you tend to cop a lot more when you're playing out on the wing! Especially if you drop a high ball when they tend to let you know about it."
"But, if you play well, they'll clap you off the pitch and that's what rugby is all about. It's good to see those traditions still going on. I've got a lot of work to do but, hopefully, I'll win them over and they'll be cheering me."
And, reminded of the fact that he could be facing one of his former clubs, Bath, sooner than he might have expected.
"Bath is going to be exciting and it's probably the best time to play them I guess. We have them at home and Kingsholm is a tough place to come to."
Finally, Tom paid tribute to the programme that's been put in place so far.
"I think probably that this is the best preseason I've been on. I've worked with Mark (Bitcon) before at Wasps and he's an outstanding fitness coach."
"I think everyone has put on a couple of extra kgs of muscle and we're now moving onto the fitness. There's been a steady progression and I think it's gone really well."
"It's been a good mix of things and the level of intensity had definitely increased from the start of June to where we are now."
"I'm really looking forward to the training camp in St Andrews because that'll be really full on and that'll be when we really start to learn a lot about each other as players."
"It won't be easy but that's the whole point of the week and the hard work that we do now will hopefully be reflected on the pitch when the season gets underway and the camaraderie will come through."
"The week off will be a welcome rest leading up to the Bath game. It's weird because normally you're glad it's over with the season being so long."
"But the first month is quite nice because you haven't got a rugby ball in your hands and now we're just itching to play games. It's good to see that the whole squad has got that buzz about them."
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester Rugby centre Matt Scott is excited to take the field again as the Cherry and Whites look to build on the win in Bayonne when Treviso come to Kingsholm this Saturday.
Defence Coach Jonny Bell admitted this week that the European Rugby Challenge Cup victory in Bayonne was a welcome one, stressed that Benetton Treviso will pose a tough test on Saturday at Kingsholm but that Gloucester are determined to deliver in front of their own fans.
Motu Matu'u is looking to make up for lost time this week as the Cherry and Whites head to Basque Country to take on Bayonne in the European Rugby Challenge Cup opener. The Samoan hooker made his first appearance in the jersey last weekend, and is hoping to contribute to the team this weekend.
Gloucester's attentions turn to Europe this weekend as they travel to Bayonne for their opening fixture of this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup. Forwards Coach Trevor Woodman told GRTV that the Cherry and Whites will be aiming to top their pool as they've done for the past two seasons, but is well aware of how tough it is to win in France.
Although understandably disappointed at seeing victory slip away at the last minute, Ben Morgan said after the game at Exeter that there were plenty of positives that Gloucester could take from the game.
Speaking after a last-gasp try from Exeter earned the Chiefs a 27-27 draw at Sandy Park on Saturday, Charlie Sharples admitted to mixed feelings. The game saw him score a try on his 200th competitive appearance for the club, but the frustration from not closing out the win was clear.
David Humphreys was minutes away from a winning interview on Saturday afternoon, but a late try from Exeter Chiefs meant the points were shared at Sandy Park. Humphreys spoke with the local media after the 27-27 draw.
Gloucester made it two wins from two outings in this season's European Rugby Challenge Cup as they outplayed Benetton Treviso at Kingsholm to win by 37 points to 8, the bonus point try coming with the final play of the game.