Gloucester will be aiming to take more pride in their work than ever before when the Johan Ackermann era gets underway in earnest.
That’s the opinion of 22-year-old Academy centre Tom Hudson, who helped the Cherry and Whites win the Plate competition at the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s at Franklin’s Gardens at the weekend.
Gloucester will head into the new Premiership Rugby season under new stewardship, with former South Africa lock Ackermann set to get to work once his commitments with the Lions in Super Rugby are complete – the Johannesburg outfit take on Crusaders in next Saturday’s final as they chase their first-ever title.
And while Ackermann may not yet be in situ at Kingsholm, his mandate has already been communicated to those players that will soon be under his command.
“In the last few years, we’ve tried new things and it hasn’t necessarily worked out. This year, we do believe could be our year,” said Hudson, who featured in the Anglo-Welsh Cup for Gloucester last term and will also be helping coach Cheltenham Ladies next season.
“We won’t go into too much detail but we’re all about hard work, which I’m sure every Premiership Rugby club is, but the difference with us is that we’ve had Johan come in as our new head coach, and he’s explained that he wants us to leave our DNA everywhere we go.
“What we think he means by that is no matter what you do in a Gloucester shirt, you put your all into it.
“Whether that’s with the fans, whether that’s in your analysis or on the field, you leave your DNA.
“We’ve worked on that a lot and hopefully, it will come onto the pitch,”
Hudson is yet to make a start in Premiership Rugby but after an impressive showing in the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s in Northampton, he will be hoping to help the Cherry and Whites improve on their ninth-placed finish in Premiership Rugby last year.
And the 22-year-old centre is optimistic that the preseason work they’ve completed so far will stand the squad in excellent stead for the new season and the imminent arrival of Ackermann at Kingsholm.
“We’ve had a few good pre-seasons and it hasn’t worked out for us. This year, we’re getting everything right and we’re working our hardest,” he added.
“I keep mentioning hard work but perhaps it’s one of the critiques and something we may have lacked in previous seasons, so give us hard work, give us it all, wear the badge with pride, and we’ll be somewhere in the Premiership Rugby,”