Ruddock takes the reins at Sixways

Worcester Warriors have confirmed the appointment of Wales’s Grand Slam-winning coach Mike Ruddock as their new director of rugby.

Ruddock, who led Wales to a Grand Slam at the 2005 Six Nations Championship, has agreed a three-year contract at Sixways.

The 47-year-old takes over from John Brain, who was dismissed by the club on Monday just 48 hours after Worcester secured Guinness Premiership survival by finishing one point above relegated Northampton.

Despite Wales securing their first Grand Slam for 27 years during Ruddock’s reign, he left the post suddenly midway through last season’s Six Nations campaign.

The reasons for his departure have never been fully explained, although so-called ‘player power’ was believed to be a factor.

Ruddock, who has been assisting his local club Mumbles in a coaching capacity, will inherit a Worcester squad that has already been strengthened for next season by the signing of All Blacks centre Sam Tuitupou, while most of the existing playing group have already agreed to stay at Sixways.

Ruddock will complete his commitments with Mumbles in a local cup final next week, before moving to Worcester and beginning his first job in the Premiership.

“I am delighted to be able to take up this exciting position with Worcester Warriors,” said the Welshman.

“This is a very ambitious club with significant goals for the future, and it is a journey I want to be part of and that I am excited about.

“I am very impressed with what [chairman] Cecil Duckworth and the board have achieved at Warriors in taking the club all the way through the lower leagues to holding their own among the rugby elite.

“I now want my arrival to take the club onto the next level, and I already have thoughts and plans for our style of play to take the team forward.”

Ruddock will look at the existing Worcester coaching and playing resources throughout the summer months, but he has already made no secret of his approach to the game.

Ruddock added: “I have watched the team play and there is no doubt that we can develop the style of play in terms of winning games and playing quality rugby that people will enjoy watching in a similar vein to the Wales team that won the Grand Slam in 2005.”

Duckworth said: “In Mike, we have appointed a man who I know has both the credentials and talent to take this club on to the next level and our aim of European rugby.

“Mike has worked at the very highest level and has a fantastic reputation throughout the rugby world.

“We now look forward to a new era at Sixways under his leadership.”

 

365 Digital

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