London Irish has said the club will ‘consider all its options’ after Gloucester announced the appointment of George Skivington as their new head coach.
Skivington is under contract with the Exiles until the summer of 2021 and the club claims that there was no formal approach from Gloucester to speak to the Irish coach about the position.
Skivington has been a forwards coach at Hazelwood since retiring from playing in 2016, where he helped Irish to two promotions from the Championship.
London Irish chief executive Brian Facer says it appears that Premiership Rugby protocols have been broken.
“To say we are disappointed with Gloucester’s announcement is an understatement,” said Facer.
“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.”