Gloucester keep coaching brains
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Gloucester confirmed that Coaches Jonny Bell and Tim Taylor have agreed on new contracts with the club, extending their respective stays at Kingsholm and providing stability in the coaching team over the seasons to come.
Bell joined the club in 2015 from Ulster Rugby and has overseen the Cherry and Whites' development into one of the Premiership's fiercest defensive units.
Jonny enjoyed a terrific playing career as a centre at club level with Northampton Saints and Ulster as well as winning 36 caps for Ireland.
He played in two World Cups (1995 and 1999) and trained as a PE teacher before he was appointed Elite Player Development Officer at Ulster then becoming Assistant Coach with an emphasis on defence.
Meanwhile, former Gloucester flyhalf Tim Taylor has continued to impress as part of the coaching set-up under new head coach Johan Ackermann. Taylor originally joined the Cherry and Whites as a player midway through the 2009-10 season, but sadly had to retire due to injury in 2013-14.
Initially a Kicking & Skills Coach, he then became Academy Backs & Kicking Coach before taking on responsibility for coaching the backs two years ago.
Both have played a key role in Gloucester's progress this season, a fact acknowledged by Director of Rugby, David Humphreys, who commented:
"I am delighted that both Jonny and Tim have renewed their contracts. Continuity is incredibly important and, as a group, we're realising the benefits of that.
"Alongside Johan Ackermann and the rest of the coaching team, we have a really strong coaching unit and their commitment and hard work is key to the performance of the players.
"Our recent progress also reflects the ongoing work behind the scenes and investment into the club as a whole. The continued support for our Academy structure, our Medical and Strength & Conditioning departments and our facilities at Hartpury is what is helping us to move forward.”
Taylor told the club website that he's loving his time at the club and so grateful for the opportunity.
"I'm over the moon, so excited to be staying on. I love the club, I've been here eight or nine years now. We've got an excellent coaching team, it's great to be working with Johan and Humphs and next to Jonny.
"I've been very fortunate for the club to give me the opportunity to get into the coaching side of things and I've loved every minute of it.”
And Bell also admitted that he's incredibly excited about the progress the club is making and about the future.
"It's fantastic. When I joined Gloucester, just over two years ago, I wanted to achieve something. It's not always been easy but we've got a great management team. Johan has come in and made a big difference.
"We can see some real development and growth and I want to be part of that. We all want to achieve something and contribute to a successful Gloucester. I'm determined to do that and excited about what's to come,"