Gloucester Rugby's playing season may be at an end but, behind the scenes, the Kingsholm machine ticks on as evidenced by the summer schedule of Strength & Conditioning Coach Barny Allen.
As he revealed to the Gloucester Rugby website this week, the close season period is a busy one for him personally as, in addition to his Gloucester Rugby duties, he prepares to link up with the England squad for their summer matches against Argentina.
Barny explained how the link with the national team had first come about.
"I initially did some work with England during the autumn internationals in October. It was a great experience - I really enjoyed working with the national squad and seeing the approach they take to Strengthening & Conditioning."
"The opportunity originally came about as a result of my boss, Mark Bitcom (Head of Strengthening & Conditioning for Gloucester Rugby). Mark used to work with England's Deputy Strengthening & Conditioning Coach, Paul Stridgeon and he arranged for me to have a temporary placement with them."
"During that time, I worked closely with the England team to support their training sessions and programmes. It was an intense period as I was still doing my full-time duties for Gloucester as well but I think I really benefited from the experience and they seemed to value my contribution as they've asked me to support the summer matches vs Argentina."
"I'll be involved from a pre tour training camp which starts on the 19th of May for a few days and then the following week in the run up to the Barbarians game all the way up until we get back from Argentina on June 16th."
Being involved at international level is a goal for anyone working in professional sport something that Barny agreed with wholeheartedly.
"Definitely. For anyone coaching or playing, being involved with the national team has to be ranked right up there at the pinnacle of the professional game."
"It's two test matches and full international caps at stake. Admittedly, it's a summer tour and some players may be absent but the intensity and the will to win will be strong. I'm very much looking forward to it."
The Gloucester Rugby first team squad will have reported back for preseason training by the time the England tour comes to an end which he admitted will pose some challenges.
"It's obviously not ideal to come back when guys will have already started preseason by the time I get back."
"However, I'll be getting back at the same time as some of the international players so hopefully we can collectively offer some fresh insight and share our experiences from the tour."
"In terms of the training we've been doing in the Gloucester camp, the season obviously finished disappointingly early for us so I've been working closely with the players who will potentially be touring. We've been working really hard and I'm really pleased with their progress."
"Our priority in the Strengthening & Conditioning team over the next few months is to really move things forward. As with any preseason, increasing body mass throughout the squad is our first priority and then we'll start to start to focus on the conditioning."
As well as the current squad members, Barny revealed that there has already been plenty of contact with the Gloucester's new summer signings.
"We've already started speaking to the new team members joining the squad. As soon as we knew our season was finished, we gave the current squad members their offseason programmes as well as the new signings."
"There are a number of generic programmes which we give to all the players and they will also have checked in with our physio team to sort out any niggles before cracking on with their individual programmes."
"Some players will still be playing so it'll be slightly different for them when they report to us for preseason but everything is in place for them to have a positive start to their Gloucester careers."
The picture painted by Barny reinforces the impression that professional rugby union is now very much a 12 month a year game.
"The year for me has gone incredibly quickly which seems to be the case every year. Before we know it, we'll be training again then playing preseason games and then into the season proper."
"Then it's week on week with the usual pressures. It's a great environment to be in. It's the career we choose and we wouldn't have it any other way."
GRTV travelled to Sixways on Wednesday morning, for the Urban Rugby Squad Festival, where the Gloucester Urban Rugby Squad met other Premiership teams. Young players from Cinderford Fire Cadets and MY:UK, Gloucester made up the Cherry and White squad.
GRTV FEATURE | We caught up with Rugby Development Manager Terry Fanolua on Monday morning, on the first day of the Half Term Rugby Camps at Wycliffe College. Fanolua spoke about what was in store ahead of a busy week on the pitch! Check out the GoPro footage as we got up close to the action!
Speaking after the 37-8 European Rugby Challenge Cup win over Benetton Treviso, James Hook admitted that the Italian side made things tough for Gloucester at times but that the Cherry and Whites are happy to take the bonus point win and turn their focus to Northampton next week.
Speaking to GRTV after the game, Backs Coach Tim Taylor was happy with the squad as they cruised to victory over Treviso. The result wasn't in doubt, but the Cherry and Whites laboured to secure a crucial try bonus point.
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.
The Gloucester Rugby Half Term Rugby Camps got off to a great start on Monday morning, with over 60 young rugby players braving the chilly weather to experience a great day of skills, learning and fun thanks to the Gloucester Rugby Community Department.