Former Sale Sharks Director of Rugby Steve Diamond has opened up about a string of family tragedies that led to him making the decision to step down from the club.

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Diamond shocked English rugby when he left the Manchester-based side in December, citing ‘personal reasons’ for his decision. He had led them to the play-offs last year before Covid had forced the team to forfeit a shot at the title. Diamond, who also led Sale to Premiership Cup success last season, was cleared of any wrongdoing in his handling of the Covid-19 outbreak at the club.

The 52-year-old revealed to BT Sport that the death of his mother last year, just 12 months after the death of his brother had all taken a toll, and now a diagnosis of a life-limiting disease for his sister has seen him make the decision to step back from rugby.

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Brian Moore talks to RugbyPass:

“It’s the first time I’ve said anything about it but my mother died at the beginning of December, my brother died 12 months to the day beforehand, my sister has terminal cancer.”

“I built with Simon (Orange) and Ged (Mason) a fantastic management team, a great club, really solid foundations and I thought if there was a time for me to step aside and let the other people come through that was the best time,” he told BT Sport. “The last four weeks have rejuvenated me and at the right time I’ll get back in the horse, but it was the right thing for me to do at the time.”

Diamond is one of six children, his father having passed away when he was 15. The former hooker played for Sale Sharks in a career that straddled the amateur and professional era and he was at one stage into drafted into an England touring squad in 1997, but was never capped.

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