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."
As Gloucester prepare for their 39th game of the season, against Bordeaux-Begles at Sixways on Sunday, David Humphreys told the local media that this week has been all about getting the players mentally and physically ready after a tough game against Connacht last Sunday.
Speaking to GRTV after the 40-32 victory over Connacht on Sunday, skipper Billy Twelvetrees explained that Gloucester had had to learn to be patient and cut out the errors to earn the win and progress to next weekend's final play-off against Bordeaux-Begles.
Jonny May's superb late score capped a thrilling 40-32 European play-off win over Connacht on Sunday. The winger spoke afterwards of his team's character and spirit as he looked ahead to one more week of rugby.
Speaking to GRTV this afternoon, Director of Rugby David Humphreys hailed the 'never say die' attitude of the team, after despite not being at their best, fighting back to take a 40-32 win after extra time over Connacht.
Jonny May continues on the wing on Sunday as Connacht come to town, and the England wing explains to the local media this week that he is delighted with his form and is looking forward to taking on Pat Lam's men.
Speaking to the local media this week, front rower John Afoa is familiar with the challenge of Connacht from his time in Belfast, and the World Cup winner is fully aware of the challenge they pose ahead of Sunday's meeting in the Champions Cup play off
Speaking ahead of Gloucester's European Rugby Champions play-off against Connacht on Sunday (Kingsholm, 3:30pm), Director of Rugby David Humphreys admitted that he's glad to have more players available than in recent weeks ahead of a tough fixture.
Nick Wood captained the Cherry and Whites on Saturday afternoon, and the experienced front rower expressed his pride in the young squad in defeat to Bath on the final day of the Aviva Premiership season.
Lewis Ludlow scored Gloucester's opening try in the 30-50 defeat at Bath on Saturday, part of an impressive performance by the young back row forward. Speaking after the game, he paid tribute to the young Gloucester side who went toe to toe with the Aviva Premiership semi-finalists.
Tongan international forward Sione Kalamafoni returns after injury to take up his usual place in the back row as Gloucester look to finish their season on a high against Bordeaux-Begles at Sixways on Sunday.
Gloucester Rugby is delighted to confirm that 18 year old Mat Protheroe, a product of Hartpury College and one of the brightest young talents in the English game, has signed a senior contract at Kingsholm.