Deacs' Week: Kingsholm and World Cup are perfect match
BACK in 1991 I remember squeezing into Kingsholm to watch the All Blacks play the United States in a World Cup pool match.
There was a crowd of about 14,000 there for that match and people absolutely everywhere. The buzz that day in the city was unbelievable.
It's not often the All Blacks come to town and play in Gloucester so it was an incredible occasion.
If we can replicate that in 2015 by hosting more World Cup matches, it will be ten times better because the sport has moved on and is more of a global brand.
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I understand what the organisers are trying to do to reach their audience and hit their targets with the tickets.
But it would be a spectacular event if it was held at Kingsholm because players enjoy coming to play here.
Last Saturday we saw this when Gloucester hosted Bath with likes of Stephen Donald and Jimmy Cowan.
They are both recent All Blacks guys and both said how wonderful an atmosphere it was and how much of a privilege it is to play at Kingsholm.
Having played around the world it was a big endorsement for Kingsholm, Gloucester and rugby in general.
Gloucester's acting managing director Chris Ferguson raised a very important point when he talked about legacy.
The club can be proud of this for the community.
I understand that commercially the World Cup organisers have got to sell tickets and hit targets and take rugby to places that don't have the same dedication as the South West.
But it would be a travesty if there's not representation of some sort in this region for the World Cup.
Playing at Kingsholm gives supporters the opportunity to get close to each other and see the stars close up which will be fantastic.
It will be a great boost for rugby and the general economy of Gloucester with all the spectators who will come to town.
BADGERS HONOURS FOR KEV
THIS Saturday Brockworth Rugby Club are holding a special testimonial match for one of their stalwarts Kev Gyde (above).
Kev called time on his playing career at the end of last season and is a lovely bloke and is Brockworth through and through.
My brother used to play for Brockworth and knows Kev well and everyone has a good word to say about him.
He's a local legend in his own right in Brockworth and keeps going and going.
He's given a really good service to the club over the years and deserves everything that comes his way.
The Brockworth Veterans will take on a Gloucester Combination Veterans side and will kick-off at 2.30pm at Mill Lane.
Any former Brockworth players who would like to play then contact Bernard O'Conner or Kev Gyde.
COACHING PROVIDES CHANCE TO GIVE SOMETHING BACK
I'VE noticed recently there are a lot of former Gloucester players popping up in coaching jobs around the county and further afield.
It is a natural rotation of new players coming into the game and older ones moving into a combined player/coach career.
The likes of Charlie Sharples and Jonny May have come into the game at the top end and will hopefully will play internationally.
But for others, they get their glory by putting something back into the game in other ways, which is fantastic.
This is the way forward for the majority because once you've got the rugby bug it generally stays with you.
The high end, highly paid jobs are really quite few and far between and those guys are very privileged to have them.
In National One myself, Dave Pointon and Lee Fortey are very privileged to work at Cinderford because it is a big deal and a big club in Gloucestershire.
There are lots of guys who have played at the top who are putting back into grass roots rugby because it is their passion.
Even those who have moved into a career outside of rugby, still find time to help clubs in a part time capacity, which is really good and refreshing to see.
The likes of Martin Johnson, Dean Richards, Richard Cockerill, Graham Rowntree, Neil Back and John Wells at Leicester have all secured high profile coaching jobs.
Whereas the likes of Darren Garforth was involved lower down with Nuneaton at one time.
People don't lose the bug but sometimes people have different priorities in different careers.
It was amateur once and people did work whereas now it's professional.
It's competitive, I know that and didn't realise how stressful a job it would be but it's very rewarding and you get totally immersed.
When you see the guys playing well after being coached and structured, it reflects on what we're trying to do at Cinderford.
We have a good squad with a lot of depth that allows us to compete and perform.