Mark Anscombe's son describes Ulster Rugby chiefs as 'clowns'

Mark Anscombe's son Gareth has labelled Ulster chiefs as "clowns" after his father's departure as head coach.

The New Zealander's time at Ravenhill was ended with "immediate effect" on Monday after two seasons in charge.

Gareth Anscombe, 23, who plays for the Chiefs in Super Rugby, tweeted:  "Pretty disappointed to hear about the way the old man's been treated at Ulster Rugby.

"How do you expect to get success at a club when you have clowns at the top making decisions like this?"

New Zealand-born Anscombe, a fly-half and full-back, is eligible to play for Wales through his Cardiff-born mother. 

Mark Anscombe's record as Ulster head coach

  • 2012-13: Heineken Cup quarter-finalists, Pro12 finalists
  • 2013-14: Heineken Cup quarter-finalists, Pro12 semi-finalists

His father's exit comes just three weeks after the Irish province revealed that director of rugby David Humphreys was leaving to take up a similar role at Gloucester.

Under Anscombe, 55, Ulster reached the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup twice, losing to English Premiership outfit Saracens on both occasions.

They lost to Leinster in the Pro12 decider in 2013 and fell to the same opposition at the semi-final stage this season.

The New Zealander had agreed a one-year extension to his contract in February, which was due to keep him in Belfast until the end of the 2014-15 campaign.

Graham Henry, New Zealand's World Cup-winning coach in 2011, and Jake White, who led South Africa to the same trophy in 2007, have emerged as early contenders to succeed Anscombe.

Ireland assistant coach Les Kiss is to take up the post of interim director of rugby to allow time for a review of the coaching structures to take place.

Kiss will combine his Ireland duties with his new role at Ulster.