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Gloucester Rugby: Phil Vickery demands long-term appointment and stability following latest Kingsholm dismissal

By The Citizen  |  Posted: May 12, 2014

Phil Vickery insists Gloucester must find stability after sacking Nigel Davies

GLOUCESTER legend Phil Vickery insists the Cherry and Whites must make a long-term appointment to end successive spells of uncertainty at Kingsholm.

Since Philippe Saint-Andre parted ways with Gloucester in 2002, Nigel Melville, Dean Ryan, Bryan Redpath and now Nigel Davies have all come and gone with little success.

Compare that to the Premiership’s current top four where only Mark McCall has been in charge of Saracens for less than three seasons and Richard Cockrill has been at the helm of Leicester Tigers since 2005.

Vickery, who spent more than a decade in the Gloucester front-row, admits results under Davies have not been good enough but was surprised by the timing of the decision.

But now he insists the club must ensure lessons are learnt and the right candidate appointed to build solid foundations for success at Kingsholm.

Vickery said: “It’s back to square one and this two or three year cycle starts again, these changes happen far too often for a club like Gloucester. The vast majority of teams and businesses have really strong foundations and stability.

“It’s very difficult to really know what’s going on. Ultimately performances have been pretty poor whether that is Nigel Davies’ fault I don’t know – everyone needs to take responsibility.

“Gloucester always tend to point the finger but the players, coaches, the board, everyone involved have to take responsibility.

“It’s never one thing but a combination – players out of contract, individuals leaving the team, injuries, individuals losing form and other added bits and pieces. We need to get out of this blame culture.

“The timing of it is really odd, Nigel had recruited for next year and some of these were entrusted to him and now we have to find a different director of rugby, head coach or both to come in during a World Cup year when a lot of people will perhaps be tied up.”

But while Vickery admits it is bizarre that the former Wales international will not be able to lead the squad and implement plans he has assembled, he respects the executive board for making a difficult decision.

Vickery said: “The board wouldn’t have wanted to do this now so you have to respect them for making a difficult decision and trying to deal with it.

“If there was another year things might only have got worse. If there isn’t that confidence and you are that far apart perhaps it is the sensible thing.

“I just really hope they have a plan in place and maybe they need to look at how the whole coaching department is structured. It seems to be a very forward thinking, innovative club and they have to come up with a vision.

“There will be a lot of people interested in the position but they have to make sure they get the right man. I’m confident the club can be a successful business and a successful team.”

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