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."
Speaking with the local media before the Gloucester team set off on the long trip north to Newcastle, Director of Rugby David Humphreys discussed his team selection and stated that Friday night's meeting will be a challenging one.
Speaking to the local media on Thursday, Matt Kvesic was looking forward to the trip to Newcastle Falcons, and the captain is looking to lead from the front with plenty for the Cherry and Whites to work on.
Gloucester saw a 12-0 lead overturned by Harlequins on Friday night as the visitors ran out 22-15 winners. After the game, Director of Rugby David Humphreys spoke about missed opportunities on the night.
Speaking to the local media on Thursday, James Hudson explained his excitement for tonight's game with Harlequins and that he is backing the Cherry and White squad to impress during the next set of Aviva Premiership games.
Despite a dream start at Kingston Park, scoring a try after just 26 seconds, Gloucester couldn't capitalise against a dogged Newcastle Falcons side. Too many penalties were conceded and too many errors made as the Falcons prevailed 20-10.
There are three changes to Gloucester Rugby's starting line-up for Friday evening's Aviva Premiership fixture away at Newcastle Falcons. Steve McColl will make his first Premiership start for the club.