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August 2002 to December 2003 - Full-time Skills and Conditioning Coach - Gloucester Rugby Football Club, England

Scroll down the page if you would like to view various details and images of my time at Gloucester:

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Powergen Cup winners 2003 - Zurich Premiership Minor Premiers 2002/2003 - Zurich Premiership Grand Finalist May 2003

In July 2002, Director of Rugby at Gloucester Rugby Club, Nigel Melville invited me to join him and Head Coach, Dean Ryan at Gloucester as the club's Skills and Conditioning Coach. Having worked (England U21, Wasps and Bristol premiership clubs) with both Nigel and Dean previously and knowing how good they were as coaches I jumped at the opportunity. In order to take up this position I was granted a period of extended leave from my position at Southern Cross University. In total I spent 16 months at the club, a period that turned out to be its most successful in its long history.

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The Club was first established in 1873 and is based at the famous "Cherry and Whites" home of Kingsholm Stadium (known by away teams as "Castle Grim"), located close to the heart of the City of Gloucester. The Club was owned by ex-Formula 1 TWR and Arrows) Team owner and English motor racing identity Tom Walkinshaw, who passed away in 2010. Tom supported the team over many years and with the advent of professionalism in 1996 took on a more financial role as Club owner and Chairman. His family still maintain their principal ownership of the club.

My role was to work with the Club's Strength Coach, Ed Archer in preparing the squad of 33 contracted players physically for their participation in the Zurich Premiership. Ed was great to work with and I learnt a great deal from him - he now runs his own business focusing on junior athlete education and development called Athlete Academy. In addition to this I was also responsible for skills training and in this capacity I worked closely with Nigel and Dean on identifying areas that needed developing in preparation for games. I also worked closely with defensive coach Dave Ellis in providing specific defensive drills as a lead in to his team defensive sessions. The squad were a lot of fun to be around and were easy to get along with, which really made my role a lot easier and made the whole experience very special.

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Some of the 2002-2004 Gloucester Zurich Premiership squad members and their international honours included:

Phil Vickery - Tight Head Prop and Gloucester Captain, represented England and British Lions test player 2001 - member of the England World Cup 2003 winning squad
Andy Hazell - England A and England Churchill Cup winning tour Argentina/Canada/United States/Japan 2003
Trevor Woodman - Loose Head Prop, represented England - member of the England World Cup 2003 winning squad
Henry Paul (New Zealander) - Utility back, can play fullback, inside centre and stand off. Dual international (Rugby League for NZ and Rugby Union for England)
Andy Gomarsall - Scrum Half, represented England - member of the England World Cup 2003 winning squad
Terry Fanolua (Samoan) - Centre, represented Manu Samoa
Mark Cornwell - Lock, represented England A
Jake Boer (South African) - Flanker
Thinus Delport (South African) - Fullback or Wing, represented South Africa
Chris Fortey - Hooker, represented England A and member of the England tour squad 2001

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