Gloucester begin new coach search

Blackpool Citizen: Newport Gwent Dragons boss Lyn Jones is in the frame for a move to Gloucester Newport Gwent Dragons boss Lyn Jones is in the frame for a move to Gloucester

Newport Gwent Dragons coaches Lyn Jones and Kingsley Jones are in the frame for a joint switch to Gloucester.

Former London Welsh boss Lyn Jones and ex-Gloucester captain Kingsley Jones could head up a new-look coaching team at Kingsholm next season, Press Association Sport understands.

Former All Blacks coach Wayne Smith is also understood to have an interest in replacing Nigel Davies at Gloucester, after the ex-Wales centre was sacked on Monday.

Gloucester have kick-started a worldwide search for the man to replace ousted boss Davies, who was unseated after two years in the West Country.

Chief executive Stephen Vaughan said Gloucester "will leave no stone unturned in our quest to find the right man for the job".

No shortlist is yet thought to have been finalised but a clutch of interested parties are already in the spotlight.

Lyn Jones won five caps for Wales before building an impressive coaching reputation with the Ospreys and gaining widespread plaudits despite failing to save London Welsh from Aviva Premiership relegation last season.

Kingsley Jones continues to coach the Russia national team while also holding the assistant coaching role at the Dragons.

The 44-year-old made the five-strong shortlist when Gloucester appointed Scarlets boss Davies in 2012.

The Cherry and Whites have long since held their former club captain in high regard, and he could once again be vetted for a role.

Now assistant at the Chiefs in Super 15, former All Blacks coach Smith had been casting around for a challenge in Europe in the last two seasons.

The 57-year-old even came close to joining Stuart Lancaster's backroom staff with England, but chose to remain in the Southern Hemisphere.

The 17-cap fly-half would command instant respect at Kingsholm after nine years in the New Zealand coaching set-up across two spells.

Former Wales attack coach Davies paid the price for a lacklustre campaign that saw Gloucester slump to a ninth-place finish and even a disappointing 28-27 defeat at already-relegated Worcester to cap the term on Saturday.

The 49-year-old was parachuted into the club two years ago in a bid to reverse a set of problems left after Bryan Redpath's acrimonious switch to Sale.

Now the club must start a new coaching cycle, despite recruiting high-profile stars like John Afoa, Richard Hibbard and Greig Laidlaw to next term's squad.

Defence coach Paul Moriarty was recruited by Davies shortly after his arrival in 2012, and his position could now also be under review.

Former England captain Mike Tindall had been offered a contract for a full-time role as backs coach for next term, but Davies' departure leaves the 35-year-old's situation once again unsure.

Scrum coach Trevor Woodman has impressed since joining the club in March.

Gloucester's eventual new boss will be keen to add his own personal stamp to the backroom set-up, but the qualities and reputations of both Tindall and Woodman will mark both out to continue at the club.

Gloucester will make no further comment than CEO Vaughan's full explanation of Davies' exit.

"Following extensive discussions between members of the Gloucester Rugby board with regards to the future direction of the playing department, the club has decided to part company with director of rugby Nigel Davies," Vaughan said.

"It has been a tremendously difficult decision to reach.

"Nigel is a man who I personally have come to like and respect very much during my time at the club.

"He has worked tirelessly at his role over the past two seasons, he has been an excellent ambassador for the club and understands the expectation and levels we need to be performing at.

"However, playing performances and results during 2013-14 were a big disappointment to everyone at the club.

"As a result, the board has decided that the future interests of the team would be best served with a different individual in charge of team affairs.

"We have clear aspirations to be a top-four side, and that must drive our decision-making process."

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