FORMER Gloucester star Andy Deacon admits Nigel Davies’ sacking is a shock and reckons he is just the latest victim of the ruthless nature of professional sport.
Davies was axed from his role as director of rugby on Monday morning following a dismal season in charge of the Cherry and Whites.
On Saturday they crashed to their 14th league defeat of the season, to already relegated Worcester Warriors who had previously failed to win a home match in domestic action. That saw Gloucester finish ninth in the Aviva Premiership in Davies’ second season in charge.
Deacon concedes Davies’ dismissal is part and parcel of professional of sport but he is surprised to see the former Welsh international given the boot having driven the recruitment for next season.
Deacon said: “It’s a shame when anyone in any walk of life loses their job. It’s been a difficult season with the results and position they ended up in the league.
“But in the professional game that’s what happens if you don’t get the results the board and supporters demand.
“Directors of rugby and coaches are getting less and less time to achieve success. He has been there two years which really isn’t a long time.
“I thought he was building and recruiting well for next season and results would have improved next season.
“One thing I don’t understand is the fact they allowed him to recruit who he wanted to achieve success next season.
“These players are not all nailed on successes, yes you have players of the calibre of Richard Hibbard but there are others who are lesser known that he feels can bring something. He invested in them and vice versa.
“For him not to be able to work with them and improve them is a bit of a shock. I’m a great supporter of Nigel and just wish he was given more time.”
The search for a successor for Davies will start in earnest and Deacon believes the new director of rugby will be under instant pressure to turn things around.
He is confident Gloucester will trawl the world for the right man but he will then have to work with the squad Davies has put in place.
Deacon said: “Whoever comes in will have to adapt to Nigel’s signing and bring instant success.
“If you don’t get results there will always be that pressure because of the size of the club, the support base and the expectations - it is one of the biggest clubs in the country.
“Gary Gold was linked to the position but he has now gone to Japan so perhaps that’s off the cards.
“The search will be worldwide, Gloucester Rugby is a well-known brand and a lot of people will be interested.”
Deacon’s future is also up in the air at Cinderford after his job as director of rugby was scraped in a coaching overhaul.
He has applied for the Professional Rugby Manager Position and hopes to have an interview on Thursday and he has thanked Davies for his support of the Foresters.
He added: “He was always a very good supporter of Cinderford and I thank him for that. We have a strong relationship with Gloucester and that is largely down to Nigel.”