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David Humphreys in power struggle, as Gloucester braced to lose two South African stars

Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys

GLOUCESTER director of rugby David Humphreys is locked in a power struggle with the Cherry and White’s players and board over the appointment of the next head coach.

The former Ireland fly-half is clinging on by his fingers tips after six seasons at the club following a stint with his native Ulster.

Humphreys favours an external appointment to replace Johan Ackermann who left for Japan two weeks ago with former Wales coach Rob Howley believed to be his front runner.

Howley is currently banned from rugby for betting irregularities, but will be free to return next month.

Members of the Gloucester board favour an internal appointment and want to give the job to the club’s current skills coach Rory Teague, as reported by The Rugby Paper last week.

Our sources say local boy Teague has the support of the Kingsholm dressing room.

Whoever takes over is likely to have a depleted squad at their disposal with up to ten players expected to be told they are surplus to requirements.

Ackermann is ready to return to the club for his son Ruan as well as Springbok World Cup-winning lock Franco Mostert, who joined Gloucester two seasons ago.

Springbok: Gloucester lock Franco Mostert played under Johan Ackermann at the Lions. Henry Browne/Getty Images

Mostert, 29, is wanted by Ackermann to return to the Top League where he spent two seasons playing for the Ricoh Black Rams before joining Gloucester.

Meanwhile, a third South African looks to be on his way out of the West Country with the Lions looking to take prop, Ruan Dreyer, back to Johannesburg.

NEIL FISSLER

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