Gloucester Director of Rugby David Humphreys has vehemently denied that the club may bring in former coach Philippe Saint-Andre as his replacement.
Billionaire Mohed Altrad – current owner of Top 14 side Montpellier – is looking to buy the club and take over from majority shareholder Martin St Quinton.
Recent media reports have suggested Altrad wants to bring in his own coaching team if he is successful in his bid to take over at Gloucester, with former Gloucester, Sale Sharks, Toulon and France coach Saint-Andre the favourite to replace Humphreys.
However, the former Ulster coach has strongly denied these rumours (via Gloucestershire Live):
“We’re obviously aware of the speculation but the information that’s coming from Martin, it’s all speculation, there’s no substance to it from the point of view that our coaching team are under contract for the next 18 months.
“We believe we have a very good coaching team in place. We didn’t have the results at the start of the season we would have liked but we feel like we’re building some momentum and playing some good rugby.”
The Cherry and Whites currently lie in eighth place in the Premiership having lost to Harlequins 28-24 at Twickenham on Tuesday, but sit in second place in their European Challenge Cup table after a humbling 42-13 defeat at La Rochelle back on 17th December. The Kingsholm-based team have not finished higher than eighth in the Premiership since 2013.
“Martin St Quinton has kept me and the coaching team very much in the loop about what’s happening all the way through the process really.
“We know there are still some hurdles to overcome for the acquisition to go through but we can’t do anything about that.
“All we can do is keep preparing and making sure we’re ready for rugby matches and that has no impact on us at all.
“I think it’s hugely exciting for the club. The opportunity to get investment of the level that may come in would be a real boost at every level.”
Whilst Humphreys may publicly be heralding the arrival of potential new investors, the uncertainty around the club’s future cannot be helping the coaching staff or their players.
Paul Wassell, Pundit Arena