Ousted Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys is back in rugby after agreeing to take up a high performance consultancy role with Georgia for next month’s Autumn Nations Cup. 

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The Eastern Europeans face Ireland, England and Wales in their Nations Cup group and Humphreys will link up with them four months after he decided his future was best served away from Kingsholm where he had been director of rugby since a 2014 move from Ulster.

Gloucester had endured a difficult 2019/20 after reaching the May 2019 Gallagher Premiership semi-finals and with Johan Ackermann exiting for Japan, Humphreys soon followed him out the door at the English club 18 days later.

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Humphreys won’t be the only former Premiership coach assisting Georgia as Neil Doak, his old pal from Ulster, will work as backs and attack coach after he finished up this year at Alan Solomons’ Worcester.  

Explaining his decision to dip into an international rugby scene he hasn’t been involved with since winning the last of his 72 Ireland caps in 2005, Humphreys told BBC Northern Ireland’s Sportsound Extra Time: “The job came about very quickly.

“Georgia were not initially due to be involved in the Autumn Nations Cup but have replaced Japan, who were not able to travel due to Covid restrictions. Given that Georgia sit outside the top 10-ranked teams in world rugby, it was always going to be a challenge to get them prepared for playing some of the best teams in the world.

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“Myself and Neil were asked if we could try and support Georgia by giving them a bit of an insight into the teams we will be facing… primarily, my role is to come in and support the Georgian coaching team that is already in place. Some of the insights and the knowledge we have of the teams we will be playing against, that is where we add value to the staff that are already there.

“Georgia have huge ambitions to progress beyond where they are in terms of being a tier-two nation. They would love, at some stage, to join an increased Six Nations. There is a huge amount of latent interest in rugby in Georgia.”

 

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