Gloucester Rugby are delighted to announce that Barny Allen will step up to the role of Head of Strength and Conditioning following the announcement that Mark Bitcon is to join Wigan Warriors later this month.
Allen, now in his fifth season with Gloucester, is currently second in command to Bitcon having previously worked under Mike Anthony in the fitness department.
His expertise is widely recognised and Allen is currently with the England squad as they prepare for the Autumn international series through an arrangement that sees him released to the national team when they are in camp.
Head Coach Bryan Redpath confirmed today:
"Bittaz has done a great job at Gloucester and we'll be sorry to lose him, but we can understand his reasons for wanting to go to Wigan and wish him all the best in his new role."
"Barny has impressed us over a number of seasons and has a wealth of experience having worked under two of the leading experts in the field of strength and conditioning, in Mark Bitcon and prior to that Mike Anthony."
"He has his own ideas about how to help us drive the group forward and we'll give him the right support to achieve this."
"Barny has also been gaining experience at international level with England for some time now so we feel that it's exactly the right time in his personal development for him to be given the opportunity to show us he can lead the strength and conditioning department on a long term basis."
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.