Strict rules, not slick moves get the Anson thumbs-up
IN PADDY Anson's world two nods of the head constitute dancing.
In Paddy Anson's gym, dancing is not tolerated.
New Gloucester recruit James Hudson discovered strength and conditioning guru Anson's no-nonsense regime the hard way.
The Kingsholm squad have dubbed former Royal Marine Anson 'The Great Man' for his meticulous approach, his iron rule – but above all his impressive personal conditioning.
Anson is happy to put himself through just as much punishment as he inflicts on his Cherry and Whites charges.
But former Newcastle Falcons captain Hudson never expected to run laps of the Tignes lake at the end of a draining four-session day during Gloucester's high-altitude training camp, just for appreciating background music.
That's exactly what happened though, much to the amusement of his new team-mates, who recounted the tale at the annual Meet The Players evening organised by Gloucestershire Wooden Spoon.
Hudson, Matt Kvesic, Tavis Knoyle, Tom Hicks, Dan George and Johnny Bentley spoke of their pride in joining the Cherry and Whites.
Rugby director Davies and new forwards coach Andrew Stanley fielded questions from Kingsholm's packed 1873 Suite on everything from the new scrum laws to the pre-season's mental toughening regimes.
Davies revealed he has told his Gloucester charges that the Cherry and Whites' sevens squad have already set the standard for the season ahead.
He explained: "Those players and coaches have done fantastically well in the last three weeks.
"I told the whole squad on Monday that the sevens sequence has already set the tone for the new season.
"We've still got a lot of hard work ahead, but we are progressing well.
"The aim is to be more polished than last year, and we have been able to produce very specific tailored programmes for each individual player in preparation this time."
New England flanker Kvesic admitted he is looking forward to picking up some tricks of the openside trade from seasoned Kingsholm stager Andy Hazell.
And then the Worcester Warriors academy graduate revealed evergreen Hazell and gritty lock Will James are Gloucester's answer to Statler and Waldorf.
All six new recruits agreed elder statesmen Hazell and James are the club's main humour mongers.
George and Bentley admitted they have found themselves in awe of the Kingsholm crowd in the past and cannot wait to experience the other side of the coin, running out in Gloucester colours.
Tom Hicks paid tribute to Gloucester's determination to push homegrown youngsters to the very top of the domestic game and beyond.
And scrum-half Knoyle admitted he will have a fight on his hands to establish a long-term future at Kingsholm – but would love nothing more than to stay with the Cherry and Whites for years to come.