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03rd Aug 2017

Long-serving rugby player discovered he would not get new contract in worst possible way

This was really, really harsh

Patrick McCarry

Eight years, 146 appearances, two cup triumphs. It’s all in the past now and the farewell was completely botched.

Professional rugby can be a cruel business at times.

Clubs can only have so many players on their staff and, when the axe swings, exits can often be messy. Players want to know their futures before Christmas, each season, but clubs will often drag the negotiation process into the tail-end of the season.

Darren Dawidiuk found out he would not be a Gloucester player, after eight seasons with the club, even later than that. The 29-year-old hooker discovered he was done at Kingsholm at the end-of-season dinner.

In a full and frank interview with Gloucester Live, Dawidiuk recalled an extremely awkward night out. Gloucester director of rugby, and former Ulster and Ireland outhalf, David Humphreys does not come out of Dawidiuk’s recollection well. He commented:

“I didn’t want to leave but it was one of those things where the club didn’t offer me a contract so it’s the way it goes.

“I only found out at the end of season dinner when they announced the players who were going. David Humphreys listed me off so it was a bit of a shock and a sad way to find out I would not be kept on by the club I’d given my all for.

“There’s no point getting upset, it is what it is. If that’s the way the club do things now, maybe it was the right time for me to move on.”

Perhaps Dawidiuk should have sensed the end was nigh. For the first time in his long association with the Premiership side, he did not start a league game. There were Challenge and LV Cup outings and he felt his experience would count for something but Gloucester were ready to move on.

Luckily for Dawiudiuk, he was picked up by London Irish and is keenly looking ahead to 2017/18. He’ll not be short of motivation anyway.

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