Ospreys: Coach Allen Clarke no longer in charge of rugby at region

Allen Clarke
Allen Clarke made eight appearances for Ireland and helped Ulster win the European Cup in 1999

Ospreys head coach Allen Clarke is no longer in charge of rugby after a dire start to their 2019-20 season.

They have won only once in six Pro14 games and lost heavily to Munster and Saracens in the Heineken Champions Cup.

Clarke signed a three-year deal with Ospreys to be head coach in April 2018.

The former Ireland hooker joined the region as forwards coach in summer 2017, and became interim boss in January 2018 following the departure of previous boss Steve Tandy.

Losing at Liberty Stadium to South African team Southern Kings on 9 November was arguably the lowest point in recent Ospreys history.

It prompted Clarke to admit the team was going through a "dark period" along with the belief they would "come out the right side of it".

Clarke will legally remain an Ospreys employee until his situation is resolved but is no longer in charge of first team affairs at the region.

Clarke's absence comes soon after Ospreys announced backs coach Matt Sherratt is leaving at the end of the current campaign.

Ospreys host another South African team, Cheetahs, in the Pro14 on Saturday hoping for a boost to their morale.

In addition to having a host of players unavailable at the start of the season because of the World Cup in Japan, Ospreys suffered a glut of injuries to available players, making Clarke's task even tougher.

However, he steered the Ospreys into Europe's top flight this season via a 21-10 qualification play-off win over Scarlets in May.

Ospreys confirmed discussions with Clarke in a post on social media, 30 hours after the news of his departure broke.

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