Scarlets 'likely' to lose coach Nigel Davies to Gloucester - Emyr Lewis

Nigel Davies

Former Wales back-row Emyr Lewis fears that Scarlets boss Nigel Davies will be named as the new Gloucester head coach.

Davies is understood to be a favourite to succeed the position vacated last season by Bryan Redpath, who is expected to take the reins at Sale.

Garin Jenkins and Vernon Cooper have already left Scarlets' backroom staff.

"They've lost Garin Jenkins, they've lost Vernon Cooper and it looks quite likely that they're going to lose Nigel Davies as well," said Lewis.

"From a financial point of view the allegation is he's probably made the right choice in going to Gloucester.

"He's outside that goldfish bowl and if he has got further aspirations of coaching Wales in the near future then I think it might be the right move for him."

Davies has nine months left on his current Scarlets deal but Gloucester have indicated they would be ready to pay out to attract a new coach.

The former Wales centre has been in charge of the Scarlets since May 2008 following the sacking of director of rugby Phil Davies.

Previously Nigel Davies was the Welsh Rugby Union's head of rugby development and was also assistant Wales coach to Gareth Jenkins from 2006 to 2007.

Following the dismissal of Jenkins after Wales' dismal performance at the 2007 World Cup, Davies took charge of the national team on an interim basis for a Test against South Africa.

Davies, who played for Llanelli, won 29 caps at centre between 1988 and 1997 and captained his country against France in 1996.

While believing that the move may personally be a good one for Davies, Lewis realises his possible departure across the border is a huge blow for the Scarlets.

"It is very frustrating, very disappointing for the Scarlets but I think it's just the state of Welsh regional rugby at present," Lewis said.

"There's more and more people leaving the regions, going further afield and unfortunately it looks as if some of the coaches are going to go as well."

Lewis hopes that the WRU can act to lessen the drain of talent but is realistic that the governing body may not be able to match the money currently on offer in France and England.

"They've got to work as hard as they can but they've got to work within the financial constraints that they are facing at the moment," Lewsi added.

"If someone comes in and offers you a lot more money that what you're earning at present then obviously the temptation is too much for players and coaches alike.

"It's an unfortunate situation we are in in Welsh rugby at present and I think the trend is going to continue until we can compete with the likes of England and France."

English Premiership side Gloucester have been seeking a new head coach since April, following the departure of Redpath, who has been heavily linked with a return to Sale.

The Kingsholm club have insisted they will begin a "legal attack" against Sale if they discover an approach from the Sharks was behind Redpath's exit.

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