Gloucester: David Humphreys believes squad has potential

David Humphreys

Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys is pleased with the potential in the squad he has inherited.

The Wales duo of James Hook and Richard Hibbard are among a number of internationals to join the club.

"Huge credit to Nigel and [chief executive] Steve Vaughanexternal-link in terms of the squad that they've put together," Humphreys told BBC Points West.

David Humphreys factfile
Born in Belfast, September 1971
Capped 72 times for Ireland 1996-2006
Captained Ulster to European Cup in January 1999
Won Celtic Cup in December 2003 and Celtic League in May 2006
After retiring in May 2008, took over as Ulster's Director of Operations

"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 finished ninth in the Premiership table last season, have also brought in New Zealand prop John Afoa, Argentina lock Mariano Galarza, England lock Tom Palmer and Tonga hooker Aleki Lutui to their new-look squad.

Since Humphreys' appointment the Cherry and Whites have reshuffled their backroom staff with Australian Laurie Fisher joining as head coach.

John Muggleton and Nick Walshe have also arrived as defence and backs/attacking coaches respectively.

James Hook
Wales back James Hook has been signed as a replacement for fly-half Freddie Burns who moved to Leicester

"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."

After his move to the West Country, Ulster Rugby chief executive Shane Logan spoke of his surprise at the speed of Humphreys' exit after almost 20 years service as a player and then director of rugby.

Gloucester's coaching changes
2013-14 season2014-15 season
Nigel Davies - director of rugbyDavid Humphries - director of rugby
Paul Moriarty - defence coachLaurie Fisher - head coach
Trevor Woodman - scrum coachJohn Muggleton - defence coach
Andrew Stanley - forwards coachTrevor Woodman - scrum coach
Mike Tindall - player/backs coachNick Walshe - backs coach

"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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