David Humphreys: Gloucester director of rugby to leave Premiership club

David Humphreys’ (right) departure was announced just 17 days after news that head coach Johan Ackermann (left) was leaving Kingsholm

Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys is leaving the Premiership club after six years in charge.

The 48-year-old former Ireland fly-half will follow head coach Johan Ackermann out of Kingsholm at the end of June.

Ackermann ended his three-year stint with the club last month after agreeing a move to Japanese side NTT Docomo Red Hurricanes, who are based in Osaka.

“It has been a huge honour to have played a small part in the history of this great club,” Humphreys said,

He will spend his remaining time with Gloucester helping chief executive Lance Bradley in the search for Ackermann’s replacement.

The club hope to make an appointment and confirm their new coaching structure in early July.

“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,” Humphreys added.

“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.”

Last season was Gloucester’s best league campaign under the pair, as they finished third in the Premiership before losing 44-19 at Saracens in the semi-final.

That was their only top-six finish during Humphreys’ time with the club, having twice ended the season ninth in the table, as well as securing eighth and seventh-placed finishes.

Gloucester were more successful in Europe under the former Ulster boss, winning the 2015 European Challenge Cup and reaching the final of the same competition in 2017 and 2018.

Premiership sides are now allowed to return to socially-distanced training under the first stage of the return-to-play protocol.

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