Gloucester Rugby are delighted to confirm that David Humphreys is to become the club's new Director of Rugby.
This appointment is so key for the long term success of the club, and I'm absolutely thrilled that David is joining Gloucester Rugby."
CEO, Stephen Vaughan
In a move that will send a powerful statement around the rugby world, CEO Stephen Vaughan announced the news via the club website today.
Vaughan has been spearheading a worldwide search for a new Director of Rugby since the departure of Nigel Davies at the end of the 2013-14 season.
Speculation has been rife as to who would take over the reins, many individuals have been linked with the position, but Humphreys' appointment is a superb coup for the Kingsholm based club.
The 42 year old former Ireland international fly half needs little introduction due to his many achievements in the game.
Belfast born, he started his playing career at his home province of Ulster, enjoyed a spell in the Premiership with London Irish before returning to Ulster ahead of the 1998-9 season.
That season saw him play a pivotal role in the Irish province lifting the Heineken Cup, defeating Colomiers in the final at Lansdowne Road.
Capped 72 times for his country, scoring 560 points, Humphreys spent the rest of his playing career with Ulster before retiring in 2008 and taking on the role of Director of Rugby at Ravenhill.
A qualified solicitor, his tenure at Ulster has seen him oversee the province establish themselves as one of the true giants of the European rugby scene, regularly reaching the knock out stages of the Heineken Cup in the last few years and losing out in the final in 2012.
However, his next challenge in the game will see him attempt to restore a new look Gloucester Rugby to the very pinnacle of the club game, and CEO Stephen Vaughan insists that they've got the right man for the job.
"This appointment is so key for the long term success of the club, and I'm absolutely thrilled that David is joining Gloucester Rugby.
"We have received applications from all over the world and Ryan Walkinshaw and myself spoke to a large number of high calibre individuals. However, once David entered the frame and we discussed our vision and what he could bring to the project, we knew we had our man.
"His background as an international player in the professional era, and subsequent experiences as Director of Rugby mean that he has the ideal skill set for the role.
"With the signings that we have made ahead of next season, allied to the retention work we carried out and the continuing investment in ensuring we have a high performance environment, the playing department looks in great shape. And we now have the ideal person in David to shape this and drive us forward."
Chairman Ryan Walkinshaw echoed those sentiments:
"It was absolutely crucial that we made the right appointment. It's an exciting new era for Gloucester Rugby and I'm delighted that David will be part of it.
"Having interviewed a number of candidates with Stephen, David was very impressive and without doubt the calibre of individual the Club needs. Gloucester Rugby commissioned a piece of research on the most effective models for success, and felt that moving away from our previous model of a head coach with DOR responsibilities was important going forward.
"We believe having David in place with a more strategic skill set will get the best out of our playing department going forward.
"Gloucester Rugby is in great shape. The business has just made a profit for the fourth year in succession, World Cup Rugby will be here in 15 months and the years ahead promise to be memorable ones for everybody associated with the club. I've never been more excited about the club."
Humphreys will start his new role shortly, at a date to be mutually agreed between Gloucester Rugby and Ulster Rugby.
Previewing Friday evening's local derby at Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell told the local media that Gloucester's preparations have gone well and that the whole squad is united in trying to finish the season on a high.
Speaking to GRTV this week, Acting Head Coach Jonny Bell spoke of his pleasure in the efforts and intensity in training from the squad after a tricky few weeks. The team were preparing for big games with Bristol and Cardiff in coming weeks.
Willi Heinz was understandably and visibly disappointed when he spoke to GRTV after the 27-30 home defeat to Harlequins, apologising to the home support as the game slipped away after seemingly having the game under control.
Speaking to the local media this week, Scottish centre Matt Scott spoke of the squad's determination to put in a big home performance against Harlequins, with vital points up for grabs in the hunt for a Top Six spot this Saturday (KO 3pm)
Looking ahead to Saturday's Aviva Premiership fixture at home to Harlequins (kick off 3pm), Head Coach Laurie Fisher told the local media that Gloucester will need to be on top of their game in a match which has big implications in terms of top six ambitions.
A big few days for the Gloucester-Hartpury Women side. First came the news that the team will compete in Women's Super Rugby next season, and on Saturday the team will play Worcester Ladies IIs at Kingsholm. Centre Hannah Jones and wing Michelle Ruddock spoke to GRTV this week to reflect on events.
In the aftermath of the Aviva Premiership victory over Bristol, Interim Head Coach Jonny Bell was able to look forward to this weekend's European Rugby Challenge Cup quarter-final against Cardiff Blues (Kingsholm, kick off 8:05pm).
Missing so many starters, and up against a team fighting for their Premiership existence, Gloucester did what had to be done at Ashton Gate on Friday evening battling their way to a 32-14 Aviva Premiership win over Bristol Rugby.