Retention: It's not all about the money
NIGEL Davies will launch a charm offensive in a bid to win the battle to retain his out-of-contract Gloucester stars.
The Cherry and Whites rugby director is ready to give existing Gloucester players the big Kingsholm sell in order to hold onto his top talents.
Gloucester have 19 players out of contract at the end of the current season, including player-backs coach Mike Tindall and tyro England Saxons paceman Jonny May.
No doubt the Premiership's moneyed elite will circle stellar talents like 22-year-old flyer May – but Davies said salary is far from the only draw.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Friday, May 31 2013
Planning to call on Gloucester's history and tradition, Davies said he also aims to convince players to stay at Kingsholm in order to win top trophies too.
The former Llanelli Scarlets boss explained: "It's always a battle to hold onto quality players, it's a very competitive market out there.
"But what we're trying to create here is a place where want to stay.
"We won't always be able to compete completely on the financial level, but we have to offer other things.
"And I'd like to think that over time and even now this is a place where people want to stay and be a part of it.
"This club has a huge heritage, a fantastic stadium and great support, and who wouldn't want to play for Gloucester.
"When you are in a job it is easy sometimes to forget the good points of that job, and sometimes you need reminding.
"So there's a little bit of that involved, and sometimes as coaches we can take certain things for granted of certain players too, so we have to make sure we don't do that either.
"We've got to make sure we listen to players, understand what they want, but then also show them what we're trying to achieve, and what we want for the club too.
"But more than that, if players are happy within their environment, and they feel that we're improving them as rugby players, and they feel they could potentially be a part of a team that could achieve something, then they are more likely to stay.
"The squad that we've got is a good squad and a solid foundation to move forward.
"In certain positions we're absolutely fine and it's a question of holding onto the players we've already got, and evolving and developing those players over the course of the next year or two.
"You have to bring fresh blood in every season, but my first priority is to re-sign guys who are out of contract within the squad."
England will announce squad updates tomorrow ahead of their Autumn international series.
Freddie Burns could squeeze into Stuart Lancaster's senior squad for the first time.
Davies said if 22-year-old Burns does not sneak in now, he has all the hallmarks of an international of the future.
Hoping Burns will be fit to face Leicester at Kingsholm on Saturday (kick-off 4.45pm), Davies continued: "England have got a very big call, they've got a couple of incumbents there, and the questions will be whether he's done enough to jump over them and whether either of those guys deserve to be dropped.
"The England coaches will be asking themselves that.
"Freddie just has to concentrate on his own form and keep developing his game, and all of that will come.
"Whether it's now or whether it's further down the line I don't know, but I'm sure he's someone they are mindful of and will want to involve in some way at some point.
"I think he's one that certainly deserves to be around the fringes of things right now.
"Freddie's played very well at the start of the season, I've been very impressed.
"He's shown a lot more maturity than what I expected from watching from afar, and he's added that to his game, and he's built his experience over the last couple of years.
"We all know about his ability and how he's a threat with the ball, but his goal-kicking has been impressive this year too.
"So he's showing all the signs, but it's for other people to make those calls.
"We don't need to put any more pressure on him at the moment: he's just enjoying his rugby and if he continues to do that then he will put himself in the picture."