The Llanelli born and bred centre won 29 caps for his country between 1988 and 1997, before joining the Welsh national coaching set up under Gareth Jenkins. Davies is one of the very few Welsh players to have both coached and captained his country.
He was caretaker Wales coach for one match, a defeat against South Africa, when Jenkins left his role after the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
As a player of undisputed talent, he played 498 games for Llanelli becoming one of only 21 players to have scored more than 100 tries for the Scarlets where he also played in a record nine Welsh cup finals, winning six.
He has been associated with top-flight rugby for more than 28 years as a player and then coach.
He returned to the Scarlets as Head Coach in May 2008 leading the development of the Scarlets squad which includes the emergence onto the regional and international scene today of some of Wales' most exciting new rugby talent.
Davies has led a philosophy of developing Welsh talent from within the Scarlets region and the strategy has produced the majority of Wales' backline strike power (Rhys Priestland, George North, Jon Davies, Scott Williams, Liam Williams), with 13 Scarlets players supplied to the international teams in the Six Nations.
He was also instrumental in the identification and development of the recently capped England and Gloucester Rugby number eight Ben Morgan.
His appointment at Gloucester Rugby concludes an intensive search following the sudden resignation of Head Coach Bryan Redpath two weeks before the end of the 2011-12 season.
Announcing the news at Kingsholm today, Gloucester Rugby Managing Director Ken Nottage paid tribute to the professionalism and consideration shown by the Scarlets in concluding his move to Gloucester.
"We're delighted that Nigel has agreed to become our new Director of Rugby as he was the outstanding candidate throughout the recruitment process.
"The Scarlets have been very impressive in the way they have approached the situation from the start and in their consideration to ensure Nigel had sufficient time to make such a significant decision at this stage of his career.
"Their professionalism has ensured that Ryan Walkinshaw has been able to reach an amicable agreement allowing Nigel's release from his existing contract to join us at Kingsholm in time for our pre-season preparations.
"Negotiations have been underway for some time and we would like to thank the Scarlets for their understanding throughout."
Davies will start his new role with Gloucester Rugby after returning from a visit next week to the Junior World Cup in South Africa which had been organised some months ago, during which he will take in some of the England U20 games in which Gloucester Rugby players Koree Britton, Ryan Mills and Dan Robson feature.
On his return, Davies will host a media conference during his first week with his new club as he is welcomed to Gloucester Rugby.