Allen Clarke: Ospreys confirm coach no longer in charge of rugby

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Ospreys chiefs criticise Clarke media query 'hijack'

Chairman Rob Davies has confirmed Allen Clarke will not return to an Ospreys coaching role "as things currently stand".

Davies says Clarke is no longer in charge of team affairs, but will legally remain an Ospreys employee until his situation is resolved.

When asked whether Davies will remain in charge of rugby matters or return to the coaching set-up, he replied, "no."

Davies says Clarke's situation is due to a "matter of personal conduct".

The Ospreys chairman added: "It is very difficult to comment because of legal consequences of what you do and say... it is impossible to say anything other than it is a matter of personal conduct.

"You can read into that what you want. As of today Allen Clarke is still legally an employee, but he is not in charge of rugby matters.

"I have been involved in business for about 40 years and rugby for almost all of that time and I have never seen anything like it."

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

Davies says Clarke was no longer in charge of rugby on Monday evening and he was unsure how long the situation would take to be resolved.

Ospreys have lost seven out of eight games this season including five Pro14 defeats and two in the Champions Cup against Munster and Saracens.

"Results always have a bearing on the situation," said Davies.

"They are bound to. I hate to use the cliché it's a results-based business, but it's unfortunate that the results were a consequence more probably because of an absence of players, the terrible injuries that we've suffered.

"So it's not just the results, it's everything associated with it."

Davies says he has no regrets over appointing Clarke to the permanent role in April 2018, after he had served in an interim head coach position following Steve Tandy's departure the previous January.

"At the time we made a decision in full knowledge of the facts, I can't change the decision so I can't have any regrets," said Davies.

Ospreys managing director Andrew Millward confirmed forwards coach Carl Hogg and backs coach Matt Sherratt would take charge for Saturday's home Pro14 game against Cheetahs.

Millward said the region was looking to appoint a new person permanently but is considering an interim.

"We are currently reviewing our rugby structures anyway," said Millward.

"That will just accelerate what we're looking at in a bigger picture on the whole. Out of the back of that review, whatever the findings we'll act on.

"If that's a director of rugby, if that's a short-term need, long-term need, we need to consider all the information coming off the back of that review before we make a decision.

"We need stability to plan and move forward to improve. I can understand the criticism because ultimately people look at the scoreboard on a Saturday and get frustrated. We all want to look to improve to get better."

Davies will lead the appointments panel and said the situation would not be confined to a Welsh coach, with extra funding available for a head coach.

"It will be a person that is not defined by his nationality," said Davies.

"We don't know (what type of person) until we review.

"It is very difficult to asses that but needless to say that lots of people have already put their names forward."

Davies also says he is confident captain Justin Tipuric will re-sign with the Wales flanker out of contract at the end of the season, but refused to say whether they were bidding to sign Wales and British and Irish Lions full-back Liam Williams from Saracens.