‘Ultimate professional’ Twelvetrees tops list
» Who has been your favourite Gloucester player in your time at the club?
If you’re asking me about the outstanding player, I saw James Simpson-daniel and Olly Morgan but not for long.
Danny Cipriani won the Premiership Player of the Year but if you said to me who has been the best player over your seven years at Gloucester, the player that stands out to me is Billy Twevletrees for a number of reasons.
Yes, he’s a talented rugby player, equally adept at 12 or 13, plays very well as a back-up 10 and sometimes started as a 10 for us, he kicks at 80 per cent, so there’s a number of reasons why I could say he’s a good player, but its behind the scenes.
He’s the ultimate professional, his rehab, his preparation for games, his diet, he’s last and first on the training pitch and is a great guy around the paddock.
The likes of Billy are everything you want in a professional rugby player.
He might not have the headline grabbing Danny Cipriani skill set, the Tom Marshall sidestep, or whatever it might be, I think he’s been a phenomenal player for the club.
There would be a lot of notable mentions in there, people like Tom Savage who had been absolutely phenomenal for the club.
John Afoa was excellent in his time here, the list carries on.
People like Ollie Thorley, Jake Polledri etc are going to be fantastic players for us, but I’d say Billy would be my stand out player.
» Billy was one of a few players still here from when you arrived, what would be the best bit of business you’ve done? Off the top of my head, I think someone like Jake Polledri.
Jake was working at Subway and playing for Hartpury so he never came through the system as such.
He has been a phenomenon since he’s joined into the first team.
Jake stands out as someone that could be world class and clearly came in not at the levels of some of the other players at that particular time, so I think Jake stands out as a good piece of business.
» You’re leaving the club in a healthy position, so where do you see it going from here? Honestly, I think sport is very cyclical and I believe we should be a top four team minimum for a number of years.
We’re going to have very few players missing for the World Cup.
I think if we get off to a great start, if you look when Harlequins won the league back in the day, that a was in a World Cup year when they had very few England players missing.
I’d like to think we could at least consolidate third position but be an outside bet for a top two next season and get a home semi-final and we can beat anyone at home.
If we get a home semi-final there’s no reason why we can’t win it.
I think we’re in a really good spot, off the field I think we’re going to continue.
This year we had record levels in 11 of about 13 commercial areas.
I think we’re going to try and make sure that were being sensible around what we spend and what we commit to and make sure we keep on top of our costs, but not to the detriment to our playing department, so I only see good times ahead.
We’ve got good people here so momentum will continue, there will be a new chief executive coming in the next one or two months and hopefully they’ll be able to see something I can’t because I’ve been here too long.
» What are your plans now?
I’d tell you but I’d have to shoot you I’m afraid. I’ve got one or two things that have been thrown my way, some of which I’ve had to turn down due to geographical reasons or whatever else, but I genuinely haven’t agreed anything yet.
There are one or two things that are out there, I’m hoping to stay in sport and the offers I’ve got are to stay in sport but the next challenge for me will have to be fairly different.
» How much are you going to miss this place?
I’ll really miss it. It’s actually been quite odd for me because I’m not from the area, I grew up in Birmingham, and I’ve lived all over the place.
I never really came to Gloucester for any particular reason, so having been here for pretty much everyday of my life for the last six or seven years, it feels like home.
The staff have made me feel extremely welcome, the supporters have made me feel extremely welcome to a point where I often walk around the stadium and chat to people in different parts of the stadium and catch up with friends in The Shed. I can guarantee you that it’s no vanity project, I do it because I enjoy doing it. Since I’ve made the announcement that I’m leaving, I haven’t been to Hartpury once because I don’t feel it is right for me to get myself back into that environment and energised around next season because I’m not going to be here. There’s something about Kingsholm, its part of the city’s fabric.
I’ll definitely be back and that’s not just a threat I promise, whether it’s in a professional capacity or as a supporter.