David Humphreys is leaving Gloucester at the end of June after serving six years as the Premiership club’s director of rugby. His decision to leave Kingsholm comes just 18 days following the surprise exit of head coach Johan Ackermann, who is moving to Japan.
There had been rumblings that the sudden departure of the South African sparked a behind the scenes power play at a club where Lance Bradley only came in as CEO last summer, and this has now resulted in the decision by Humphreys to leave behind Gloucester whom he joined in June 2014 from Ulster.
Humphreys said: “It has been a huge honour to have played a small part in the history of this great club. I have loved every minute of my time here and have been very fortunate to work with great coaches and support staff, and with great players.
“Over that time, we have built the foundations for a successful club, both on and off the pitch, and last season’s third place finish in the Premiership was a reflection of the progress that has been made.
“However, following Johan Ackermann’s departure last month, I took some time to review my own position at Gloucester and in light of many new challenges facing professional rugby as a result of Covid-19, I felt it was the right time for me to move on and a new head coach to come in and build on the work that has been done.
“It is always difficult to leave somewhere that has become home and I will always be very grateful to everyone in the West Country for the very warm welcome they gave to both me and my family.
“In particular, a huge personal thanks to Martin St Quinton for his friendship and encouragement throughout my time at Gloucester, and for his support in building a Gloucester playing squad to be a competitive force in the Premiership.
“The Gallagher Premiership is a wonderful competition and I will miss the excitement building up to every game at Kingsholm.
“When I left Ulster I didn’t think there were many places to rival the atmosphere at the Kingspan Stadium, but from beating Sale in my first game at Kingsholm, I realised what a special place it is to play rugby when you’re wearing a Cherry & White shirt. This is entirely due to the incredible Gloucester supporters and I thank you all for your support over the last few seasons.
“Before leaving at the end of the month, I will continue to work closely with Martin, Lance Bradley, and the senior management team, to support the recruitment of a new head coach and to help ensure an easy transition back into training for the playing squad and staff.”
Chairman St Quinton added: ”It’s been a real pleasure getting to know David during his time at Gloucester, both from a professional and a personal point of view. I’m hugely appreciative of his unstinting hard work, commitment and loyalty.
“Over the last few weeks we’ve discussed the future of the club going forward, and I fully respect his decision that now is the time for him to move on. I wish him all the very best in his future endeavours and he will always be welcome at Kingsholm.”
CEO Bradley said: Lance Bradley: ”David has made a tremendous contribution to Gloucester over the last six years. So much of what he does goes on behind the scenes, but those of us who have had the pleasure of working with him know just how much he’s contributed. We all wish him every success in whatever he decides to do next.
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) May 18, 2020
“We are facing a time of unprecedented change in professional rugby in this country and across the world. At Gloucester, we are determined to be at the forefront of anticipating those changes and making sure we are in the best position to face the new challenges ahead. David has been a key player over the last six years, but we will use his departure to move into an exciting new era.”
The search for a new head coach will now be lead by Bradley, with the club expecting to announce an appointment and the new coaching structure in early July.
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