Davies leaves Gloucester role
Gloucester have announced that director of rugby Nigel Davies has left the Aviva Premiership club with immediate effect.
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The former Wales international centre has paid the price for a poor season that saw Gloucester finish ninth in the Premiership table.
His final game in charge two days ago saw Gloucester suffer a 28-27 defeat to already-relegated Worcester.
Davies moved to Kingsholm from the Llanelli-based Scarlets in June 2012, but Gloucester have not made any significant impact on domestic or European stages.
Gloucester's decision was confirmed by the club's chief executive Stephen Vaughan.
"Following extensive discussions between members of the Gloucester Rugby board with regards to the future direction of the playing department, the club has decided to part company with director of rugby Nigel Davies," Vaughan said.
"It has been a tremendously difficult decision to reach.
"Nigel is a man who I personally have come to like and respect very much during my time at the club.
"He has worked tirelessly at his role over the past two seasons, he has been an excellent ambassador for the club and understands the expectation and levels we need to be performing at.
"However, playing performances and results during 2013-14 were a big disappointment to everyone at the club.
"As a result, the board has decided that the future interests of the team would be best served with a different individual in charge of team affairs.
"We have clear aspirations to be a top four side, and that must drive our decision-making process."
Gloucester have already made a number of keynote signings for next season, including Wales hooker Richard Hibbard, former New Zealand All Backs prop John Afoa and Scotland scrum-half Greig Laidlaw.
But the West Country club have not qualified for next season's inaugural European Rugby Champions Cup due to their poor Premiership campaign.
Vaughan added that the search for Davies' successor would be an extensive one.
"We will leave no stone unturned in our quest to find the right man for the job," he said.
"We believe that the director of rugby role at Gloucester Rugby is one of the most prestigious in club rugby, and we're expecting interest from a high calibre of applicants worldwide.
"The player recruitment and retention that we have carried out over the past few months means that the successful applicant will have a top-quality squad to work with next season, and they will be joining a club that is in great shape away from the playing field.
"I would like to place on record mine and the rest of the board's thanks to Nigel for his hard work and his contribution over the past two seasons, and wish him well for the future.
"He will always be welcome at Kingsholm, and I have no doubt that he will do a good job wherever he goes from here."