London Irish ‘considering all options’ over Gloucester-George Skivington signing

George Skivington

London Irish say they are “considering all options” over Gloucester‘s approach and signature of forwards coach George Skivington. Chief Executive Brian Facer claims the club has acted outside Premiership Rugby regulations. 

Gloucester sign Skivington

Gloucester officially announced the news on Saturday that Irish forwards coach George Skivington would become the new head honcho of the Cherry and Whites next season, following the departure and dismissal of Johan Ackermann and David Humphreys.

However, Irish have since put out a statement saying that they are looking at all options due to the approach of Skivington coming without permission.

Premiership Rugby regulations state that a player or coach cannot be contacted, without permission, if they have more than six months left on their contract – something Skivington does have, with his contract set to expire in the summer of 2021.

Facer insists that there was never any official approach from Gloucester, therefore no permission has been granted.

What next?

Legal action is one option that could be on the table, if the move is found to be unlawful, but both clubs and Premiership Rugby will be hoping it can work itself out, in a similar matter that the van Rensburg contract issues did.

Irish issue warning

“To say we are disappointed with Gloucester’s announcement is an understatement,” Facer commented.

“George is well liked and respected at Hazelwood, and it is understandable that we would not want to lose him, especially so close to the resumption of play after the lockdown. We also know that he is an ambitious young man who would relish the opportunity of being the Head Coach of a club someday.

“However, the protocols are clear that a club must be approached in writing when there are more than six months remaining on the relevant contract, regardless of whether it is a player or coach.

“George is under contract with London Irish until June 2021 and has not served us with the required notice period, nor have the terms of his contract been breached. More importantly, at no point have we received any proactive communication whatsoever from Gloucester.

“We therefore believe that Gloucester have breached the Premiership Rugby Code of Conduct regarding inducement and approaches to a contracted player, member of coaching staff and other contracted person.

“This is a most serious issue so, accordingly, we are reserving our rights to consider all our options under the Premiership Rugby governance protocols and other avenues of redress.”


“Main photo credit”

George Skivington
George Skivington, the London Irish forwards coach looks on during the Aviva Premiership match between London Irish and Harlequins at Twickenham Stadium on September 2, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)