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Gloucester Rugby: Pre-season planning will remain top secret

By The Citizen  |  Posted: June 24, 2013

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TOP SECRET pre-season tour plans are being kept under such tight wraps at Kingsholm that only three people know where the Cherry and Whites are headed.

Steven Vaughan, Nigel Davies and Paddy Anson are the only men who know where Gloucester will spend their pivotal extended away trip to prepare for the new campaign.

Gloucester's CEO, rugby director and strength and conditioning boss are staying tight-lipped on the destination of the tour – keeping the squad guessing on purpose.

A 'mystery tour' day trip helped Gloucester build the mental strength and focus to see off stubborn Saracens 28-23 at Kingsholm in April.

Boss Davies took his players coasteering that week – a mixture of swimming and climbing around the coastline – just days before that crucial Premiership clash against Saracens.

Now Gloucester's bosses are taking that psychology one step further, keeping the Kingsholm men in the dark about their impending pre-season camp.

Gloucester's trip is likely to be scheduled just before the Cherry and Whites take on Toulon at Stade Mayol on Friday, August 9.

Former Royal Marine Anson masterminded last summer's pre-season trip to Tignes, where Gloucester used high-altitude training to boost their fitness for the first campaign under Davies.

This year, if the trip does fall just before Gloucester's first 15-a-side pre-season clash, Anson said the activities will need careful planning.

Anson explained: "This year the challenge will be greater because of the fixture at the end of it.

"So we'll have to modify what we do in order to be ready for the game, to make sure we don't do too much and leave them fatigued for the game.

"We'll structure our pre-season to allow us to have that set of days away when we just concentrate on the rugby.

"If the players get the off-season right, then have a strong few weeks leading into the tour, then we'll have a better player coming through.

"If we don't do enough in the pre-season then try to backlog on tour, we'll be fatigued into the fixtures.

"So we've just got to be very careful with our planning."

Helicopter rides and alpine treks were all part of last summer's Tignes trip in the French Alps, that had the Gloucester squad enthused on the challenge for the season ahead.

Gloucester stalwarts like Andy Hazell admitted last year's pre-season was like no other he had experienced at the club.

Davies ushered in a new regime that transformed Kingsholm to the extent that Hazell hailed the whole set-up as like being at an entirely new club.

Gloucester's management are acutely aware of the need to keep adding fresh innovation in the new pre-season, to avoid any monotony and keep testing the players in new ways.

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  • TeamGlaws  |  June 30 2013, 9:29PM

    What's the betting that the clueless self-aggrandising talentless spotter claims that he is one of those that know the secret plans? If there is one thing that you can be sure of it is that he knows nothing more than what can be gleaned from Wikipedia. And as for his posts with the knowing winks about a tight head prop.... Hilarious! Yes we all know that the club has only five props on the books and that the club has previously indicated they were looking for another prop. It doesn't take a genius to to put 2 and 2 together but it takes a childish Walter Mitty type to pretend to be in the know.

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