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Marlon Devonish – "The boys are making great efforts to improve"

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With preseason continuing apace, the Gloucester Rugby squad are continuing to benefit from expert sprint coaching from Olympic Gold Medalist Marlon Devonish.

Now in his third campaign as part of the club's coaching staff, the speed man is focusing on honing the potential within the squad, as he describes to the club website what he has in store for the boys.
 
"I'm slowly starting to work on their top end mechanics, so we're going to go through a few drills, warm ups and exercises and then from there we're going to go through some key component exercises to build them up.
 
"From there, we are then going to go into some sprints, and I will be critiquing them from how they go and get the ball involved to bring it all together."
 
Devonish is looking to bring out the potential in the players, and not necessarily turn them into sprinters, but improve the skills they possess, as he explains.
 
"They're not going to be running like me, or Usain Bolt, or the guys that are mechanically perfect in some aspects. But the nature of the game is that there are a lot of components that are fundamental to get right.
 
"It is about getting them as quick as they can so a few key percentages and the speed is vital when it comes to team sports, and a vital component to what they are trying to do."
 
With the Singha Premiership Sevens Series the next rugby action for the Cherry and Whites on August 20, Devonish will keep a keen eye on that tournament with the focus on speed.
 
"With fewer players on the pitch, there is more opportunity for them to run and enhance their speed and get close to top end mechanics.
 
"The Sevens is a perfect set up for the boys to prepare for the fifteen-a-side action."
 
As mentioned, now embarking on his third season, Devonish is delighted with the progress that the squad has been making, with clear improvements.
 
"Without a doubt there has been a big improvement, and a lot of the things that I have tried to implement are starting to come through now.
 
"The key thing is, in training to get it to a point where they can feel it, and then sub-consciously take that into a match and then tie in the ball with that.
 
"That takes time, because it is a process. But the guys that I have been working with for three years, there is definitely a crossover and that is really positive to see.
 
"There is still room for improvement, and I hope to have plenty of time to do that.
 
"There are some surprise sprinters within the group, but there are some guys that have some wheels, and can run a lot quicker and we can change that."
 

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