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Gloucester Rugby: Nigel Davies confident Cherry and Whites can cope with loss of Gareth Evans

By The Citizen  |  Posted: April 24, 2014

Gareth Evans underwent knee surgery on Wednesday

NIGEL Davies is confident Gloucester boast the back-row resources to cope with the absence of Gareth Evans.

The number eight went under the knife for a serious knee injury, sustained against Bath, on Wednesday and faces several months on the sidelines.

It is a major blow for the Cherry and Whites with Evans leaping ahead of England star Ben Morgan in the pecking order this season following an impressive run of form.

He is set to miss the start of next season but Davies reckons Gloucester have the strength in depth to fill his boots.

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Davies said: “It’s obviously disappointing to lose Gareth but his surgery went well. We still have Ben Morgan and Sione Kalamafoni there, so we have options.

“There’s also Ross Moriarty and the plan was always to bring him into the first team on a more regular basis next season.

“Tom Savage will also be back so predominantly we will have Ben and Sione at eight and Ross and Sav operating at six. We see Matt Kvesic as an openside but he is able to move across as well so we are very happy with the options available to us.”

Gloucester are, however, in the hunt for a new hooker. With just Richard Hibbard and Darren Dawidiuk the only front-line players committed to next season the Cherry and Whites could be left short in the department.

It has been agreed that Koree Britton, who was cautioned by police for an incident at Leisure@Cheltenham last month, will be released if he can find another club, while Dan George is out of contract and has been linked with a move to Worcester Warriors.

But Davies has returned to his recruitment drive and is impressed by the calibre of player available.

He said: “We’re looking for an alternative and there are a lot of players out there. Ideally we are looking for an abrasive, young hooker that we can bring in and develop.

“Alternatively we could take someone with a lot more experience. They are the two ends of the scale we’re looking at and we will go for the best player available within our budget.”

Davies continues to plan for next season and with a week-long break in the current campaign he sat down with a working group to define what playing for Gloucester means, in a bid to redefine the culture.

Far too often this season the Cherry and Whites have failed to fire with a string of lifeless performances but Davies hopes to hammer home the core values and culture of the club.

He added: “We have met with some current and ex-players and sponsors to discuss the values and cultures of Gloucester Rugby and what it means to represent this club so we can get some clarity moving forward.

“There have been times this season where we have seen exactly what it means and last year we showed a lot of resilience.

“You have to get the technical and tactical elements right but there is the cultural side as well.”

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