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Massive blow if Davies leaves – Bennett

Guinness PRO12 Editor

20 May 2012


Scarlets president Phil Bennett has admitted that the potential loss of head coach Nigel Davies would be a ‘massive blow’ for the region.

Davies is reported to be on a shortlist drawn up by Gloucester after the departure of Bryan Redpath.

Davies, who was previously the WRU’s head of rugby development and assistant coach for the national side, joined the Scarlets in 2008.

And since then the 47-year-old has brought through a number of youngster at Parc y Scarlets including Grand Slam stars George North, Jonathan Davies, Rhys Priestland and Scott Williams.

This season the Welsh outfit narrowly missed out on a spot in the RaboDirect PRO12 semi-finals as they ended up fifth in the table.

And Bennett admits that all the hard work done under Davies risks being undone if the head coach departs now.

"I think it would be a massive blow because he is a quality coach," he said.

"Nigel's come a long way. He's rebuilt the club after a dreadful couple of seasons.

"We've not won a lot of things and I think Nigel said at the start of the season it's about time we grew up, we're not youngsters anymore and we have to win things.

"This season they did very well in Europe but finishing outside the [Pro12] top four, I'm sure Nigel would have been very disappointed.

"What's a little bit baffling for me is that Nigel, along with possibly the chief executive and the board members, have let five or six of the top notch forwards go.

"Nigel was saying 'I have to rebuild, I have to get a top front five to compete with the best and to win trophies.'

"If he is to leave it leaves a huge task for the man following him to find those five or six forwards.”