Belfast Telegraph

Biting back: Criticism of Humphreys is just bizarre

By Jonathan Bradley

It's always amazing the things people find to get disgruntled about when there's no games to be played but, even so, it still seemed odd to hear Gloucester Director of Rugby David Humphreys forced to defend his decision to bring Jonny Bell on to his coaching staff.

The European Cup winning pair will be reunited next season - Ulster's former defence coach taking on a similar role at Kingsholm - but Humphreys was this week asked why he saw fit to recruit Bell and replace John Muggleton who is currently being linked with a role at Cardiff.

Without being disparaging towards the man who helped Australia to victory in the 1999 World Cup - and it is worth noting that the Cherry and Whites were SLIGHTLY less porous last season than the year before - this was a team who had the second worst defence in the Aviva Premiership during the 2014/15 campaign.

They will once again play in the Challenge Cup next year, a competition they won last term, after finishing a sub-par ninth in the league and lost in a play-off with Bordeaux for a Champions Cup place.

While last year was not Ulster's most miserly, Bell is clearly the man Humphreys wants by his side and, should the project fail, it will be the former out-half's reputation that takes a battering.

Can you really hand someone the keys to the car but quibble over who they choose to ride in the front seat?

Belfast Telegraph

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