Lamb, Allen leave Gloucester
Kingsholm exodus continues
Last Updated: 01/05/09 4:01pm
Allen and Lamb: Pastures new
Ryan Lamb and Anthony Allen have joined the exodus from Gloucester following the west country club's dismal run-in to the season.
The departure of both fly-half Lamb and centre Allen comes on the back of similar moves made by a host of big-name players from the Cherry and Whites.
Back Olly Barkley is heading to Bath and, with Iain Balshaw also moving to Biarritz, Willie Walker, wing Mark Foster and prop David Young are exiting Kingsholm.
With Shane Geraghty heading to Northampton, Lamb is believed to be a target for London Irish - although Worcester have also been mentioned - while Allen, who is out of contract, could head to Leicester.
They join fellow departures Gareth Cooper (Cardiff Blues), Carlos Nieto (Saracens), Jack Adams (Bristol) and Jack Forster (Sale Sharks).
Reflecting on his exit, Lamb insisted there were no hard feelings between himself and the club.
"I am a Gloucester lad and I've been at the club for my whole career so far, so it's going to take some getting used to," he said.
"I will genuinely miss the place, the supporters in particular. They have been great to me throughout, probably because I am a local lad, even when things
haven't gone so well for me.
"But I think it is time for a change. There are absolutely no hard feelings between the club and myself, or between Dean (Ryan) and myself, regardless of what you read in the press.
"We sat down to talk and the club want to take things in a different direction, and I can understand that. I want to keep on developing as a player, and I will be doing that elsewhere next season."
In a statement, Gloucester said: "This current squad has been on a great journey over the past three seasons.
"However, while we've been very successful, we haven't taken the final step.
"This hasn't been an easy process. All of those leaving have worked hard and contributed in their own way, and we would like to thank them for that and wish them well.
"However, we need to rebuild and we need to move in a different direction with a number of new faces."
Cardiff Blues fly-half Nicky Robinson, Wasps wing Tom Voyce and Leicester signing Seru Rabeni will be among the new faces at Gloucester next season.
Even so, there still remains speculation about the future of rugby director Dean Ryan.
Gloucester's season ended last weekend with a 34-3 Guinness Premiership defeat against Wasps.
They failed to reach the Premiership play-offs, having earlier made a Heineken Cup pool stage exit and also suffered a crushing 50-12 EDF Energy Cup final defeat to Cardiff.
Meanwhile, hooker Oliver Azam is to reappear before Rugby Football Union disciplinary chiefs on Thursday following a review of his dismissed citing which stemmed from the latter game.
It had been alleged that he made contact with the eyes or eye area of Blues centre Jamie Roberts at Twickenham.
However, having been submitted too late, the citing was dismissed by a panel earlier this week.
But RFU disciplinary officer, His Honour Judge Jeff Blackett, has reviewed the matter and Azam has been summoned to attend a new hearing.