Gloucester Rugby have hit back at London Irish following their claims that the Cherry and Whites have breached Premiership protocols in the appointment of George Skivington as their new head coach.
Skivington's appointment as in charge of Gloucester came after director of rugby David Humphreys and head coach Johan Ackermann left the club in the last two months.
However, London Irish in response said Skivington was contracted with the Exiles as forwards coach until June 2021 and they were not approached by Gloucester in the appointment of the 37-year-old.
"Gloucester Rugby openly advertised its head coach role in the usual way. George Skivington was the standout candidate following that process," Gloucester said in a statement issued on Sunday.
"Gloucester Rugby understood that Skivington was not restricted contractually from joining the club. Gloucester Rugby, nevertheless, directly and straightforwardly sought clarification of London Irish's position. That clarification has not been forthcoming.
"Gloucester Rugby is therefore surprised and disappointed by both the contents of statement from London Irish, and the forum in which it was released, not least in view of the proactive efforts made by Gloucester Rugby during the course of this week.
"Gloucester Rugby will continue to seek to engage with London Irish, through the appropriate channels. Gloucester Rugby urges London Irish to do the same."