Gloucester Rugby Head Coach Skivington Under Fire After Record 90-0 Loss

Gloucester Rugby suffered a record 90-0 defeat to Northampton Saints in the Gallagher Premiership, sparking outrage among fans and calls for head coach George Skivington's removal. The loss was attributed to Gloucester's decision to field a largely second-string team ahead of the upcoming Challenge Cup final.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Gloucester Rugby Head Coach Skivington Under Fire After Record 90-0 Loss

Gloucester Rugby Head Coach Skivington Under Fire After Record 90-0 Loss

Gloucester Rugby head coach George Skivington is facing intense criticism and calls for his removal after his team suffered a devastating 90-0 defeat to Northampton Saints in the Gallagher Premiership on Saturday. The loss, which marked Northampton's largest ever win in the competition, has left Gloucester fans outraged.

The result, play at Franklin's Gardens saw Northampton score a staggering 14 tries, with winger Ollie Sleightholme scoring a hat-trick. The 90-0 scoreline is the second-largest margin of victory in Premiership history, behind only Richmond's 106-12 win over Bedford in 1999. Gloucester's decision to field a largely second-string team to preserve key players for the upcoming Challenge Cup final has not been well received by supporters.

Gloucester back row Lewis Ludlow responded to the opposition, says: "We know Gloucester supporters are angry and embarrassed. So are we. That was no where near good enough for this shirt." Former Gloucester and England legend Phil Vickery posted: "Not sure what to say about this... a very sad day for a proud club would be a start."

Journalist Matt Hardy wrote: "A performance devoid of ambition, balance, top-flight skill and effort... Gloucester are a proud club with some of the most passionate fans in world rugby. At Franklin's Gardens today, the Cherry and Whites treated their fans with contempt. Embarrassing for them and the league." Many supporters have called for Skivington's removal, with some fans writing: "Get out of our club, Skivington" and "Skivington turning us into an embarrassment."

Skivington acknowledged the impact of resting key players like Jonny May, Adam Hastings, Zach Mercer, and Chris Harris ahead of the European Challenge Cup final against the Sharks from South Africa in two weeks. "You cannot do it all and that is the decision I made and people either like it or lump it," he said. However, the scale of the defeat has raised serious questions about Gloucester's strategy and Skivington's leadership.

While Gloucester have effectively given up on the Gallagher Premiership this season, a victory in the Challenge Cup multiple, outrageous, field could help redeem their campaign. However, it remains to be seen if that would be enough to get their fans back on side after this humiliating loss. Northampton director of rugby Phil Dowson admitted to having some sympathy for Gloucester, saying: "I know George Skivington pretty well and there's clearly different priorities going on. It's never nice to be on the end of a 90-0 humping but, at the same time, we had a job to do."

The Rampant, secure, record, breaking, win stands as Gloucester's worst ever Premiership defeat and has put immense pressure on head coach George Skivington. With the club facing a record, breaking European Challenge Cup final in two weeks, Skivington and his team will need to regroup quickly to salvage their season and placate their disgruntled supporters. As Gloucester legend Phil Vickery put it, this was "a very sad day for a proud club."

Key Takeaways

  • Gloucester Rugby suffers 90-0 defeat to Northampton Saints in Gallagher Premiership.
  • Coach George Skivington faces intense criticism and calls for removal.
  • Gloucester fielded a largely second-string team, angering fans and sparking backlash.
  • Skivington prioritized resting key players for upcoming Challenge Cup final.
  • Defeat is Gloucester's worst ever in Premiership, putting pressure on Skivington and team.