Consistency is key for George Skivington’s blueprint for success at Gloucester Rugby and with the season now complete the club have confirmed just four changes in playing personnel ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.
Three bit-part players during the 2021/22 season, Jason Woodward, Jack Stanley and Will Britton will leave Kingsholm this summer with the trio having made a combined four appearances in the Premiership.
While a couple of players’ futures are still up in the air and could exit during the summer, Cherry and Whites head coach Skivington was adamant that London Irish and Fijian number eight Albert Tuisue will be the club’s only addition.
Powerhouse forward Tuisue has been named in Fiji’s squad for this summer’s Pacific Nations Cup.
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Explaining his thinking, Skivington said: “The club has gone through a lot of turbulence in the last few years. When I came in there were a lot of people who left because of the impact of Covid.
“There were a lot of things up in the air, a lot of people came and went and there were so many changes within the club.
“It is well known and well proven that if you can get some consistency in your staff, in your players, and in your approach, yes everything takes time, but you will be successful.
“I think chopping and changing and trying to find those guys who are going to light it up – the short-term fix if you like – it might work for a season but I don’t think that is a good long-term approach. “
The jury was still out on Skivington after his first full season as head coach at Gloucester having stepped up from being in charge of London Irish’s forwards previously.
The Cherry and Whites finished 11th from 12, with only Worcester Warriors below them in 2020/21, but with the foundations laid, this season the club have turned into contenders for play-offs, just missing out on a place in the semi-finals by two league points to Northampton Saints despite a 54-7 victory over Saracens on the final day of the season.
Skivington, who was rewarded with a new contract last month, continued: “To be fair to the club they have backed me with my long-term approach and through the highs and lows so far.
“I believe in consistency with this squad because we have got some really good people in the building who are very honest.
“I would love to keep this squad together for five years while bringing some youngsters through and bringing in the right people in ones and twos. I know that is not always the reality of professional sport.
“One addition next year is a good start.”
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