Deacs' Week - with former Gloucester prop Andy Deacon: Moriarty has had a big impact on boys
PAUL Moriarty's influence at Cinderford is clear to see.
The Gloucester coach has certainly helped shape our defensive strategy, with his twice-monthly sessions at the Foresters last season.
He will be back at the club helping out again this year, and will take his first training session tomorrow night.
The boys listen intently to what he's got to say, they soak it up.
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It's fantastic to have that link with Gloucester, and for men like Paul to give their time so readily and with such passion and enthusiasm.
One thing you cannot fake is passion, and Paul never lacks it, that's for sure.
Outside influences can have a great impact on a club like ours, and I will most probably look to add a couple more in different technical areas as the season progresses if possible.
We have had an extremely positive pre-season and will head into our first game against Rosslyn Park at Dockham Road on Saturday (kick-off 2.30pm) in confident mood.
After all the planning and projecting of permutations in the world, there always comes the time when you've just got to get stuck in.
I genuinely think the boys can't wait now… I know I can't.
Leave the fighting on the pitch, not the bar
IN all my time at Gloucester I cannot once remember two players fighting anywhere other than the training field.
Training is competitive, fierce and sometimes things naturally overheat.
If it’s a passionate reaction that is diffused as quickly as it happens, then that’s just rugby to be honest.
We’ve all seen things boil over on the pitch and the two guys involved share a beer afterwards.
But as a director of rugby I would not want to see two of my players scrapping in a bar.
Bath have obviously had to deal with that scenario this summer.
When you sign certain players, you know exactly what you are getting.
I have signed characters in the past, and to be fair they have come in, worked hard and done well.
But they have also moved on quickly.
It’s a risk, ultimately.
If Bath are winning, what happened with Gavin Henson this summer will be no problem at all.
If times get tough, internal inquests might get personal.
A little bit of finger-wagging and the camp could split into Gavin-haters and Gavin-fans.
Forget tactics, keep rugby simple and show desire
DON’T be blinded by playbooks and gameplans on the eve of the season.
Any club across the county, whatever the level, don’t get lost in jargon or structure.
For grassroots sides, my advice is not to try something because it’s what Gloucester, or the All Blacks do.
Pull the ball back and go forward – add in a strong set-piece, good fitness and hard work on skills, and that’s pretty much it.
Remember that the professionals have all day, every day to work on some of the most demanding physical, mental and technical skills.
Not that many of those are going to transfer down the levels.
But courage, desire, vision, physicality – any side in the world can work, work and work on those traits.
Keep the systems simple, easy to understand and master, but also effective.
Good luck to every county club this weekend – above all, enjoy it.
Disciplined Matson in top shape this season
MATSON look in their best shape for years.
They came to Cinderford last week and performed extremely well.
The likes of Jack Hayes, George Porter and Shaun Knight, and many others, have done a great job there.
The discipline of the set-up is impressive.
Old Centralians have their work cut out building the strength and depth of the player pool to cope with National Three South West, but they have some great talent in there.
Lydney have gone extremely well in pre-season but they will need to keep focused in order to challenge for an immediate promotion out of that division.