Gloucester Rugby set to hit the beach once again
6 July 2012
Today sees the Gloucester Rugby squad head to West Wales for the second time this preseason as they take to the beach as part of their conditioning programme.
Preseason training has had a different look this preseason as has already been highlighted on the club website.
Early morning swimming and water polo sessions at the Sandford Park Lido in Cheltenham have been followed up by a mixture of weights, skills and rugby sessions.
However, the past two Fridays have seen the operation decamp to Cefn Sidan beach at Pembrey County Park to work on some wrestling and contact drills designed to help the team’s performance in contact situations.
The location was used regularly by Director of Rugby Nigel Davies in his previous role at the Scarlets and, at a Fans Forum this week, Davies insisted that its proximity to his family home was pure chance.
"Going to West Wales was a coincidence and nothing to do with me! Paddy Anson is our new Strength and Conditioning Coach and one of the most impressive men I've met for a long time.
"The conditioning has to be right. I've been hugely impressed with Paddy and his work and most of this innovation is his work.
“Part of going away on a Friday is to focus our minds on travelling at the end of the week because, apparently, we haven't been too good away from home!
"We've worked hard and the level of intensity and skill on show has been excellent. Training on the sand is a good environment for contact work because there's no risk of studs getting caught in the ground and injuring knees and ankles.”
The contact area is one of the areas that is really being focused on by Davies as Gloucester prepare for the start of their 2012-13 campaign with the All Blacks providing inspiration.
“Although I come with a reputation as an attack minded coach, unless we get the contact area right, we won’t be in control of games.
“I am a bit more pragmatic in terms of the areas that we play and a little bit more careful in terms of holding on to possession and pinching a little bit more ball.
“We will score tries from that and it is a big part of the game, with most tries scored from turnovers.
“If you look at the All Blacks, they score all their tries from that area and they also kick the ball more than any other international team.
“That is what I am going to focus on. We will work hard and target those areas and I believe that is the way to move Gloucester forward.”