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Ulster European Cup winner Jonny Bell helps Humphreys by taking Gloucester reins

By Jonathan Bradley

Ulster European Cup winner Jonny Bell will take charge of Gloucester for the remainder of the Aviva Premiership season.

The Kingsholm outfit parted ways with head coach Laurie Fisher on Monday evening, 48 hours after Harlequins scored 15 points in eight minutes to come from behind and beat the Cherry and Whites 30-27.

Bell had been working as the side's defence coach, a role he filled with his native Ulster until 2015 when he followed the path to Gloucester taken by his former team-mate David Humphreys one year prior.

In his role as Director of Rugby, Humphreys said an announcement on a head coach for next season will likely be made by the end of this month.

"For the remainder of this season, we will not be making any further changes to the coaching team, and Jonny Bell will step up to lead the rugby programme, assisted by Tim Taylor and Trevor Woodman," said the Ulster great.

"Looking forward, the process to identify a new head coach has already begun and we will be in a position to confirm the appointment of a replacement by the end of the month.

"We were all very disappointed with the result against Harlequins and the events of the past two days which have ultimately seen Laurie Fisher leave the club.

"Two and a half years ago we put together a coaching team led by Laurie Fisher.

"In my time in rugby I haven't come across an individual who possessed such a wealth of rugby knowledge, work ethic and absolute commitment to bringing success to Gloucester Rugby.

"However, despite giving it everything, after Saturday's disappointment Laurie felt that it was time for someone else to take over as head coach."

Fisher joined Gloucester from Australian Super Rugby franchise the Brumbies in 2014, and despite a frustrating domestic season, Gloucester beat Edinburgh to lift the European Challenge Cup in May 2015.

But their Premiership form has proved well below par, with Gloucester currently sitting ninth in the table.

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