Ospreys Managing Director, Mike Cuddy, said today (Friday 10 September 2010):
“Gavin took unpaid leave from the Ospreys of his own volition last summer, something that has been widely and repeatedly reported over the last twelve months.
“Since then, as an employer we have been extremely respectful of the fact that he has had personal issues that have needed resolving, and have been patient in leaving the door open for him at all times to return to playing rugby when he felt it was appropriate, as I indicated in an interview with the Daily Mail back in October 2009.
“We have also been understanding of his wish to carry out a wide range of media activities, including his current commitment to Strictly Come Dancing.
“At no time during this period has Ospreys Rugby stood in his way. Our understanding had always been that he would return to play rugby for the Ospreys when ready and he had always indicated that he had no desire to play for any other club.
“As a senior member of the squad he has always received our full support, on and off the pitch, particularly in recent seasons when he suffered a number of serious injuries that have prevented him from playing rugby for long periods of time.
“I can reiterate our position that the door remains open for Gavin to return to the Ospreys. Indeed, we have built our squad in the belief that he would be returning and both Gavin and his agent, Mr Ginvert, confirmed this as recently as the end of July 2010, information I then passed on to our coaching staff. As such, we have had to make some difficult decisions about player recruitment on that basis.
“In addition, we have a responsibility and a duty of care to protect the players in the squad who have been present during this time, and who have had to cover for Gavin throughout his prolonged absence due to unpaid leave.”