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."
Willi Heinz scored Gloucester's second try as the Cherry and Whites overturned a disappointing first 40 minutes and 0-6 half time deficit, to earn a 26-18 Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol Rugby on Saturday.
It's the first Gloucester-Bristol derby at Kingsholm in over eight years this Saturday (kick off 4:30pm) and, previewing the game with the local media this week, Defence Coach Jonny Bell stressed that, with both teams in the bottom half of the table, they both need the points.
Speaking to the local media this week, Gloucester front rower John Afoa knows the challenge ahead this week against Bristol, and calls on the Cherry and Whites to make the most of home advantage as a determined squad look to bounce back from a narrow loss to Saracens.
Tom Savage speaks to GRTV and the local media as Gloucester went down by 24-20 at Saracens on Sunday afternoon. The second row was disappointed with the result, despite a strong showing from the hosts.
Speaking immediately after the game, skipper Willi Heinz thought that Gloucester had executed their game plan reasonably well and competed hard against Saracens. However, it wasn't enough but the squad will have plenty to work on this week ahead of the derby match against Bristol.
Gloucester may be coming off their best win of the season, the 38-16 victory over Wasps last weekend, but Director of Rugby David Humphreys admits that Sunday's trip to Saracens is an even tougher test.
Looking to try a new sport? Look no further than Walking Rugby as thanks to Gloucester Rugby you can come along and try out the fast-growing sport at taster sessions across the county, starting this Wednesday.
Gloucester return to European Rugby Challenge Cup action on Thursday evening with the visit of Stade Rochelais to Kingsholm (kick off 7:45pm). Early Bird ticket prices are available until 6:30pm on matchday.
Talk about a game of two halves. Things looked grim on Saturday as Gloucester trailed 0-6 to Bristol at half-time. However, Matt Scott's eighth try of the season got Gloucester off and running, and the visitors fell apart as the Cherry and Whites eased to a 26-18 bonus point Aviva Premiership win.