ULSTER HAVE CONFIRMED that David Humphreys will leave the province to become Director of Rugby at Premiership side Gloucester.
The 42-year-old has been a major driving force behind Ulster’s progress in recent years, bringing world-class recruits like Ruan Pienaar and Johann Muller to Ireland, as well as overseeing the redevelopment of Ravenhill.
This move to Gloucester ends a 22-year association between Humphreys and Ulster, with the former Ireland international having made 162 appearances for the province as a player, winning the 1999 Heineken Cup, 2004 Celtic Cup and 2006 Celtic League.
Upon retiring in 2008, Humphreys moved into the role of Operations Manager for Ulster, before becoming the Director of Rugby in 2010. He will now take up the same role with Gloucester.
This was a really difficult decision for me personally but having received a direct approach from Gloucester, I have now chosen to accept an offer to become their Director of Rugby,” said Humphreys. “It is, I believe, the right move for me at this stage of my career.
“I would like to thank the supporters and all those involved in Ulster Rugby over more than two decades who have lent me support, encouragement and wisdom.
“There is no doubt that the Province will continue to move forward. It has a fantastic stadium, the best supporters and a wealth of great talent coming through. Ulster Rugby will be a force within rugby for many years to come.”
Ulster’s CEO, Shane Logan, took the time to wish Humphreys well in his new role with Gloucester in the Premiership. The southwestern club are highly ambitious and have recruited the likes of James Hook, John Afoa and Greig Laidlaw ahead of next season.
“I would like to wish David every success with Gloucester and to thank him for the outstanding contribution that he has made to Ulster Rugby,” said Logan.
As Director of Rugby, David has helped to grow the game at all levels – there are more people playing rugby in the province than ever before, we have successful age-grade sides, we have a strong Academy and we now have a senior squad that can beat the best in Europe.
“We are disappointed with the decision but respect David’s decision to leave Ulster. We do know we already have the structures in place to ensure we have success in the long-term.
“Ulster Rugby will now begin the process of recruiting a new Director of Rugby and we look forward to building on the progress that the province has made in recent years.”