Redpath: Did he jump or was he pushed?

Oval Talk
Gloucester Rugby's director of rugby Bryan Redpath, September 2009 - 0
Gloucester Rugby's director of rugby Bryan Redpath, September 2009 - 0

When looking over the last week of rugby there is one event which has stood out from the rest: the abrupt resignation of Bryan Redpath from Gloucester.

The Cherry and Whites have been inconsistent this season; they have beaten the likes of Harlequins and Toulouse but were hapless as they lost to Wasps and bottom side Newcastle.

But if this were a simple matter of a coach taking responsibility for an unsatisfactory season then it would not be quite so intriguing. It is what has been happening off the field which makes this whole saga astonishing.

The story began when Sale Sharks CEO Steve Diamond announced that the club would name a new director of rugby at the end of the season and the new man had a proven track record in the Aviva Premiership.

That inevitably sparked a plethora of rumours suggesting a number of potential candidates. Those candidates included former Sale scrum-half Redpath, but when asked about the position he stated he would be staying at Gloucester where he still had two years on his contract.

The rumour mill went into overdrive last weekend, however, as the Scottish press said Redpath was the man Sale wanted and that they had already agreed a deal.

Diamond responded by backtracking and saying he was interviewing a number of candidates and had not reached a decision. Redpath also completely changed his tune by handing in his resignation.

The whole situation is very odd and raises a lot of questions; why did Diamond make that public announcement only to go back on it? Why did Redpath resign one year into a three-year contract? Where did the story about Redpath being Sale's new director of rugby come from? Why did Gloucester accept Redpath's resignation?

Everything would make sense if Redpath popped up in Sale but it would seriously dent his reputation and Gloucester's Ryan Walkinshaw has already threatened legal action.

Hopefully for Redpath's sake he will have decided just to take some time out from the game. If it turned out that he was tapped up about the Sale job there will be a lot of cynicism directed towards an honest and well respected person.

What to read next