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Aviva Premiership
Azam disappointed at Gloucester release
ESPNscrum Staff
May 19, 2011
Gloucester hooker Olivier Azam celebrates after winning a scrum against the head, Gloucester v Northampton, Aviva Premiership, Franklin's Gardens, Northampton, England, April 19, 2011
Olivier Azam will leave Gloucester at the end of the season © Getty Images
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Veteran Gloucester hooker Olivier Azam has spoken of his disappointment at being released by the Aviva Premiership club.

The 36-year-old has spent the last 10 seasons with Gloucester, and his current testimonial year is set to include a high-profile friendly against French giants Toulouse at Kingsholm on August 13.

Both he and French prop Pierre Capdevielle have been informed that their services are no longer required, with Dave Attwood, Nicky Robinson, Paul Doran-Jones, Alasdair Dickinson and Jordi Pasqualin also leaving to join other Premiership clubs this summer.

"I am gutted that my services are no longer required at the club, in any capacity," Azam told the Gloucester Citizen. "I had always been very loyal to Gloucester and hoped that I would finish my playing career at the club that I love, and then integrate within the staff to really make a difference and to continue my passion for the team.

"I went to great extremes to complete all relevant qualifications in order to make the transition successful for everyone involved. Unfortunately, due to opportunity unavailability within the club, now is not the right time for that integration to take place. I have no other choice than to look at other options outside of Gloucester, and it is with the deepest of sadness that I do this."

Gloucester won the Anglo-Welsh Cup this season and claimed a third-place Premiership finish, losing narrowly to Saracens in the title play-offs.

"The current squad has been involved in a memorable season for Gloucester, but it's the nature of the beast in modern rugby that players, some of whom you would desperately love to keep, move on," head coach Bryan Redpath said,

"This is never an easy time, as every single player in the squad has played their part in the success that the club has enjoyed this season. I would like to place on record my personal thanks for their efforts during their time at the club. They have all been magnificent servants.

"However, we have to move on and prepare for next season.We've already announced the signings of Dario Chistolini, Dan Murphy and Nick Runciman, and we are continuing to explore a number of other options and will make announcements at the appropriate time."

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