DENIS Betts has hailed the “soul” of Kingsholm as he prepares for a new coaching challenge in rugby league or union.
Betts, 40, skills and development coach for the Cherry and Whites for four years, said he would miss the unique match-day atmosphere at Kingsholm.
And the former rugby league international said Gloucester had something special in sport - something that needs to be protected.
He said: “The fans at Gloucester are very special. The fan-base love their club and their city.
“It’s a really passionate place and I hope they can get the success they deserve. I really enjoyed the place, especially the match-day atmosphere and the Shed.”
He said the beauty of Gloucester was the history of the club, a history which is still part of the present.
And unlike some sporting clubs, he said Gloucester has retained the link between fans, players, city and ground.
“Gloucester has got its soul and the ties to what it was originally and it needs to keep that,” he said.
Betts still had a year remaining on his contract when his departure from Gloucester Rugby was confirmed last week.
He had played rugby league for Wigan and Auckland and earned caps for Great Britain and England.
Earlier this year, Betts was linked to the vacant England rugby league coaching job before Bradford’s Steve McNamara was appointed.
But Betts seemed relaxed about what his next role would be and whether he would work in rugby union or league, stating that he was taking stock of his time at Gloucester and considering his options.
“I am very fortunate that I am able to step out and I can do some reflection,” he said.
“Since I stopped playing nearly ten years ago it’s been almost non-stop and now it’s time to assess.”
“I am a career coach and I have been very fortunate to work with some fantastic people over four-and-a-half years and that’s given me a great perspective.
“I now have a very broad experience of working in both league and union.”
Betts said he was proud of his role in helping with the development of Gloucester players, highlighting Olly Morgan and Anthony Allen.
He also said he had learned a lot from Luke Narraway, whose talents in the ruck added to his skill set.
“It’s been fantastic working with these people – they are so skilled,” he said.