Tony Windo returns to Kingsholm as scrum coach
13 July 2012
Gloucester Director of Rugby Nigel Davies has successfully recruited another key member of his coaching set up with the appointment of Tony Windo as the club’s new scrum coach.
Gloucester born and bred, Windo started his playing career with the Cherry and Whites before moving up the M5 in July 1999 to join the Worcester Warriors.
He played three times for England and was named in the Sky Sports Dream Team in 2005-6 before finally hanging up his boots in 2008 having made over 400 appearances for Gloucester and Worcester combined.
He then moved into a coaching role at Sixways, firstly taking responsibility for the scrum and then the forwards before becoming Director of Rugby at Bromsgrove School in August 2011.
However, Davies has now persuaded the 43 year old to join the new look Gloucester Rugby coaching staff on a part time basis as Windo explained to the club website:
“I’m going to be working on a consultancy basis, coming in for one or two mornings a week, while continuing my role at Bromsgrove School.
“I consider it a great honour to get the opportunity to coach my home town team and one that I was proud to represent as a player. I’m delighted to be involved.”
He will continue his role at Bromsgrove School and expressed his gratitude to the school for being so flexible and allowing him to pursue the Gloucester option.
“Nigel first spoke to me a couple of weeks ago and I had to talk to the school to make sure that any involvement with Gloucester was ok with them and that we could it make it work.
“I’m incredibly grateful to the school for allowing me to take up the opportunity, they’ve been very supportive and it couldn’t have worked out better.
“Hopefully with my roles at Bromsgrove School & Gloucester, we are able to develop this relationship as an alternative pathway for future players into the Gloucester senior squad to assist the long term development of both the School & club.
“Gloucester’s probably the only club that I would have considered getting involved with to be honest. I made a career choice to step away from full time professional coaching and work in an independent school and only the lure of a club like Gloucester would have tempted me to get involved in the professional game again.
Davies was only appointed Director of Rugby just over a month ago and Windo was quick to praise the former Scarlets man for the progress he’s made at Gloucester in that time.
“Nigel’s got a very clear vision of where he wants to take Gloucester and is very good at communicating that vision to others. He’s made real strides in a very short space of time at Gloucester and I’m excited about the prospect of working with him.
“I’ve been in to do some work with the boys over the past couple of days which I’ve very much enjoyed and I’m looking forward to going out to France with them and taking that work on a bit further.
“It’s funny how things work out. I started my career with Gloucester and my playing career finished at Gloucester when I played at Kingsholm in the Amlin Challenge Cup Final for Worcester.
“To be back there as part of the coaching team is a great honour and I’m really looking forward to being at Kingsholm on the opening day of the season.”
Before finally accepting the role, there was one other thing for Windo to take into account and that was the fact that he would be taking over the scrummaging role from his late friend, John Brain.
“It was a very tough decision to make and, I’ll be honest, I went to see Clare, John’s widow, to talk it over.
“As I say, it’s a great honour and something I desperately wanted to do but the circumstances were obviously very unfortunate.
“I had spoken to John previously about doing something along these lines but, I went over it with Clare, and she said that, if anyone were to do it, the family were happy that it was someone like myself, one of his close friends with a similar passion for the club.
“The challenge for me now, of course, is to carry on the great work that John started last year and do him and the club justice.”