RUGBY: David Humphreys not expecting attacking shift in Aviva Premiership

Gloucester Director of rugby David Humphreys
Gloucester Director of rugby David Humphreys

Gloucester director of rugby David Humphreys insists weather conditions will prevent the Aviva Premiership from becoming a league that focuses on attack.

One of the themes of the World Cup was a deviation away from the usual defensive template nations fall back on for the global showpiece in favour of a more offensive approach.

It has led to calls for a change in focus among northern hemisphere clubs, but Humphreys believes that one of the game’s allures is its variety of tactics.

“Certainly the aspiration among all of us is to play rugby, but do we really want a game where everyone is playing the same style?” the former Ireland fly-half said.

“Surely it’s the different styles that makes rugby interesting? Teams have different styles with different ways of winning the game and we’ve seen that in the Premiership over the course of the last few years.

“There was a criticism of Super Rugby a few years ago that it had become this basketball type of rugby, but the conditions mean the game won’t develop in that way here.

“The quality of the pitches in the Premiership are very good, but by the middle of January it becomes more difficult to play.”

Gloucester travel to Coventry to face Wasps in Sunday’s only Premiership fixture. Wasps have won only one of their three games and director of rugby Dai Young has demanded an improvement following their 24-16 defeat at Leicester.

“We were frustrated with our performance against Leicester last weekend, although we know Welford Road is always a difficult place to go and get a win,” Young said.

“The focus this week will be on looking after the ball better and proving we are a much better team than we showed last week.”

They then go into the European Challenge Cup with a home game against Zebre in their pool four opener