Aviva Premiership
Humphreys excited by Gloucester potential
ESPN Staff
August 8, 2014
David Humphreys joins Gloucester from Ulster, where he had been the province's director of rugby since 2008 © Getty Images

Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys is excited to start working with a squad he says is packed full of "huge potential" ahead of the new season.

Humphreys was appointed director of rugby in June following the dismissal of Nigel Davies and moves to Kingsholm having held the same position at Ulster, the province at which he spent most of his career as a player.

Joining Humphreys at Gloucester this season will be Welsh internationals James Hook and Richard Hibbard, while former Brumbies director of rugby Laurie Fisher will move to the Aviva Premiership to work under Humphreys as head coach.

"Huge credit to Nigel and [chief executive] Steve Vaughan in terms of the squad that they've put together," Humphreys told the BBC. "I think when you look at the players that have been brought in, the Gloucester squad now is a squad with huge potential and some top quality international players.

"I think when you add that to the mix of coaches that are coming in and the quality that they've had at different levels I hope it will be a good mix."

Gloucester, who will be looking to improve on their ninth place in the Aviva Premiership last season, have also signed New Zealand prop John Afoa, Argentina lock Mariano Galarza, England lock Tom Palmer and Tonga hooker Aleki Lutui.

Joining Fisher in the new-look coaching department are John Muggleton and Nick Walshe, who have arrived as defence and backs/attacking coaches respectively.

"The biggest challenge for us all is expectation," said Humphreys. "Not just the expectation amongst the players, who are very ambitious and want to be successful, not just amongst the coaching team, but also among the wider supporters and the club.

"History has shown it is very, very difficult to put together a team that can immediately win. History has shown it takes time to build a team and get to know the players."

When news of Humphreys' appointment at Gloucester broke in June, Ulster admitted they were caught by surprise with the speed of the announcement after almost 20 years of service from their former fly-half.

"I don't think it was something where I was looking to leave," said Humphreys. "When I look back as a player there were a number of different opportunities in that time to go and play elsewhere.

"It's not that I ever regret not leaving, but I knew if I decided to stay in professional sport that at some point in my future my family and I would have to move away.

"This really was the first opportunity that has come along that I felt was a good fit for me and my family. It is a club that I'm very, very excited to be a part of."

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