Mike Ruddock: Ex-Wales coach to discuss Ospreys future at end of month

Mike Ruddock
Mike Ruddock (centre) in Ospreys training with coaches Matt Sherratt and Duncan Jones

Former Wales coach Mike Ruddock says he is unsure whether he will stay with the struggling Pro14 region beyond a month.

Ruddock says he will hold talks with the Ospreys hierarchy at the end of his short-term contract having joined "as a consultant to review rugby operations."

The Ospreys arranged Ruddock's temporary release from his coaching role with Lansdowne FC in Dublin and with Acorn Global Recruitment.

Asked what the future holds after the month, Ruddock replied: "Who knows?"

"I need to thank my agent for setting up this opportunity for me," Ruddock continued.

"But that is it, that's the extent of it, it is just for the one month. Obviously I will sit down with Andrew Millward at the end of the month and Mike James, I will speak to them certainly about what I have experienced and we will wait and see.

"But for this moment in time, I am really only here for a month."

Ruddock will "offer support and advice" to interim Ospreys coaches Matt Sherratt and Carl Hogg in December.

Ospreys have lost eight out of nine competitive games this season and lie sixth in Conference A in the Pro14 and endured a turbulent week which saw Allen Clarke tenure as head coach come to an end.

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

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Ruddock, who says he has not been following the fortunes of the Welsh regions closely, revealed that his long association with former Ospreys chairman and current board member Mike James was behind his return to Welsh rugby.

Ruddock steered Wales to a Six Nations Grand Slam in 2005 and was Newport Gwent Dragons boss, but has not worked in Wales for 13-years.

"I took a call from Mike James, former chairman of the Ospreys, a very dear friend of mine; he originally got me playing rugby in Swansea from Tredegar with Cardiff College," Ruddock explained.

"A number of years later, when my playing career ended, he got me back to be the coach. So Mike and I go back a long way. He's a very persuasive gentleman so it was very difficult to say no to him. We eventually decided on a short-term, one month arrangement.

"My role is pretty open-ended, in the first instance it is to support and challenge the coaches a little bit. Get everyone thinking about what we are doing.

"But I am here not for on-field coaching; I won't be doing that during this first month. My role will be to support the coaches. I will look for areas behind the scenes we can improve.

"It is a fairly broad remit but I am there to support, not judge."

Ruddock believes Ospreys have plenty of quality on and off the field.

"I don't get Welsh television in Ireland so I have been pretty oblivious to the Ospreys.

"I am not up-to-date with the current form of individual players at the region and that is not something I need to be on top of during this month, it is more from a structural point of view," he added.

"I am taking a peek in, if you like. I haven't had too much time to look across the water and worry about Welsh rugby.

"The Ospreys is a very good operation with a huge amount of talent there… everyone is working really hard to improve the fortunes of the region. They have been unlucky with injuries.

"I will be delighted if I can give an overview and see if I can offer up some support and use my experience during a difficult time for the Ospreys.

"I want to try and help people to improve the fortunes of the region."