CONGRATULATIONS to Peter Buxton on his move to Bristol.
He epitomises everything that Gloucester represents and I guess it comes to us all when we have to move on at some point after a long career.
He’s a Gloucester stalwart and although the word ‘legend’ gets banded about all the time, he quite rightly deserves it.
He wears his heart on his sleeve and gives everything in every match his professionalism has really shone in his career of late.
Recently he has played a few games for the Gloucester A side and is an invaluable success story for these guys, helping them to carve a career and improve.
That’s now, but just think back to when he played in grand finals at Twickenham.
What an amazing 11 years for him and the club, and his huge fan base.
He’s a great bloke and a good mate and I wish him well at Bristol.
It’s a good move for him and Bristol will be a better side for it.
I put the cherry and white on all my life and suddenly when you are wearing a different coloured shirt it is very strange.
He will quickly get used to it, and it’s a great move for Pete to stay in rugby.
I went down the route of getting a career outside of rugby first and playing semi-professionally which in some ways was made for me because the offers were not there in the professional game.
As it worked out it has been a very good move for me and one that I’ve enjoyed but Pete will look to stay in the professional game as long as he can and perhaps carve out a career as a coach.
He’s a very humble man. He is smart and a terrific work horse as a back-rower.
If his body holds together then he will do very well in The Championship.
ALWAYS A GREAT HONOUR TO PLAY FOR YOUR COUNTRY
CONGRATULATIONS also to Cinderford players, Jack Adams and Ben West, after they played for England Counties last Friday night against an Ireland XV.
They played a big part in the game with Jack starting the match and Ben coming on with a half to go.
It was a good experience for the guys and I think they enjoyed it, but most importantly they came through without any injuries.
They’ll both be in contention for a place for our National One trip to Blackheath this week.
Last weekend was supposed to be a free weekend for everyone but because of the recent bad weather, it meant there were rearranged league games instead.
Teams were playing without their named players because of the Counties game which every club has to deal with.
I wouldn’t want to hold any player back, on a league weekend or not, if they have the chance and great honour to represent their country.
We played and beat Tynedale last weekend, who flew back their tighthead prop, David Dickinson, from Ireland to play us.
We didn’t think it was necessary to do that for our players, so I’m sure the guys got to enjoy their weekend.
I never got to play for the England Counties side because they don’t pick blokes over 40!
HOW COULD I FORGET CHOSEN HILL, SO SORRY!
CHOSEN Hill have sent me many texts regarding my last column when I talked about the big clubs in the Combination Cup and I didn’t mention them.
For that I truly apologise.
I’m sure they will be very competitive in all the Cups, and I wish Mr Chris McNeil all the best as a former Cinderford player.
All former Cinderford players who have now turned coach continually ask me for players – whether it’s Coney Hill, Matson or Chosen Hill.
They all come to me for guys, which is obviously a big compliment because it means we have good players.
We have a very strong and competitive team at Cinderford and running two sides does make it difficult to send certain players out, if I can help anyone else in any way then I will do.
Clubs want to be as competitive as they can and Macca (McNeil) is cutting his teeth in the coaching world and taking a bit of a sabbatical from rugby following his injuries.
I’m sure he’ll be back as a player albeit at Chosen Hill or Cinderford or wherever.
He’s enjoying the role he’s doing, he brings a good bit of banter and keeps in touch.
As a local lad, he understands the tribalism of rugby in our county, they are very passionate.
The Combination Cup is a good chance to put a marker down locally and I’m sure they will do well.
They’re a young side and he’s a young coach and they have plenty of enthusiasm and drive, so a recipe for success.
AUTHORITIES BAFFLE ME
IN THE rugby world the governing bodies, from international level down to grass roots, never cease to amaze me.
For instance, one crazy thing that happened at the weekend saw Scotland and Italy play in the same colours in the RBS Six Nations.
How they did this is beyond me.
At the other end of the scale, Longlevens played Old Richians in Gloucester One, and lost by just one point, but they had a Spanish exchange referee who could barely speak English.
In a local derby where sometimes tempers can get a little frayed, it is funny how these strange decisions occur.