Aviva Premiership
Hazell impressed by Davies impact
ESPN Staff
July 20, 2012
Gloucester's Andy Hazell in action, London Irish v Gloucester, Guinness Premiership, Madejski Stadium, Reading, England, September 13, 2009
Andy Hazell is one of the senior stars at Gloucester as they get ready for a new season under Nigel Davies © Getty Images
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Gloucester stalwart Andy Hazell is already impressed by the changes new coach Nigel Davies has made at the club, despite the Welshman only having been there for a matter of months.

Davies moved to Kingsholm from Welsh team the Scarlets following the end of last season and his appointment is the latest coaching shake-up that the club has undergone in recent years in an attempt to realise their full potential. Last season the club continued to bring through exciting young players such as Jonny May, Charlie Sharples and Henry Trinder while staying true to their philosophy of playing exciting, open rugby. However, they once again missed out on a major trophy, something Hazell hopes Davies' new approach will change.

"It feels like a totally new club, it's a new start for everyone and it can definitely freshen things up for the guys who have been here for a while," Hazell told The Citizen. "Everything that happened at the end of last season has been pretty well-documented so there's no point going through that again in detail. But what is clear is that we really needed a fresh start, a total change, and Nigel's been able to bring that about.

"There's a lot of players who have been at the club for a very long time, and that's to Gloucester's great credit, of course. But it never hurts to get almost a new lease of life, and I'm sure I'm not the only one who feels like that."

Earlier in the summer it appeared that Tindall was set to leave the club after former head coach Bryan Redpath failed to offer him a new contract. However, Davies was keen to retain his services and next season the World Cup winner will be the team's backs coach. Hazell particularly appreciates the role that Tindall plays in defence and is sure he will continue to lead the team on the pitch and on the training field.

"I'm delighted to see Tinds stay on at the club, and for him to make that move into coaching as well," Hazell said. "He's got so much ability still as a player, and he'll be a great foil to the youngsters in that backline. As a back-rower you just can't overestimate how important Mike's defensive abilities are.

"When we're scrabbling around and scrapping for everything, sometimes you can look up from a ruck and see Mike make a telling tackle, or turn the ball over. He's always been a mentor for the younger lads, so as he moves more into coaching he will just continue with that, and it's great to see another player who cares about the club so much have the opportunity to keep developing and progressing their career at Kingsholm."

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