IAN Smith believes the sacking of Gloucester director of rugby Nigel Davies provides somebody with a “fantastic opportunity” to take charge of one of the biggest clubs in the country.
The former Gloucester captain and openside flanker, who played for Scotland in the 1995 World Cup, said the club had been “semi-dormant for a while”.
He added: “It’s a great job for someone. Whoever comes in needs to pick the club up because there is a gap in the Premiership between the top teams and the rest.
“We need to get back to where we feel we belong – the top four – but it will take a lot of hard work.”
Gloucester ended last season in ninth place having won just eight of their 22 Premiership games.
Welsh international Davies made his name as a free-running centre before moving into coaching and Smith believes the next man in charge at Kingsholm should be a forward.
“We need a hardline enforcer – someone like Richard Cockerill or Steve Diamond," he said. “Gloucester is traditionally a forward-orientated club and forwards have a different perspective on the way the game should be played.
“But it’s not about the title, it’s about the man. The person who gets the job has got to challenge people and want to be challenged.”
Smith, who still watches Gloucester when his job as technical adviser to the Portugal RFU allows, believes that the decision to deliver the knockout blow to Davies was taken very recently.
“It’s a sad day but professional sports people work in a performance-related environment and Gloucester’s have not been good enough,” he said.
“Some of the players have got to look at themselves but it’s up to the man in charge to get the best out of them.
“He must ensure that the performances are there but everyone can see that they have not been up to what we expect.”