‘Ul­ti­mate pro­fes­sional’ Twel­ve­trees tops list

Gloucestershire Echo - - GLOUCESTER RUGBY -

» 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.

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