Mike Ruddock is reportedly staying on at Ospreys until at least the end of this season. It was December 3 when the 2005 Grand Slam-winning coach with Wales pitched up in Swansea on a consultancy basis for a month to run the rule over the rugby side of the business.
However, with that deadline now expired, it has been revealed he will now be at the club until the end of a horrible 2019/20 campaign where the struggling region have won just one of its 14 matches so far.
Ruddock had been working at All-Ireland League club Lansdowne when the call came from Wales to help out and the Dublin outfit hinted at the time they might lose him longer than initially stated.
“With regret but with our full support, we announce that with immediate effect Mike Ruddock has taken a position with Ospreys to become initially a consultant for a month but may turn into a longer commitment,” read a tweet from the club.
It now turns out their hunch was correct as walesonline.co.uk have reported that Ruddock will see out the season in Swansea with a new job title – that of performance director at the region which sacked Allen Clarke as its head coach.
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Ruddock will preside over the interim coaching set-up led by Carl Hogg and Matt Sherratt in the hope that results can somehow improve.
That is an ambition that won’t be easily fulfilled, especially as their next two fixtures are in Europe against defending champions Saracens and Munster, teams that hammered them in matches in November before Clarke was pushed aside.
It is believed that if Ruddock manages to somehow get Ospreys out of their current rut, he could well be appointed on a long-term basis. However, there are many hurdles to jump before that might happen given the current player disenchantment with the club’s hierarchy.
AWJ removes the filter in Swansea. https://t.co/YmCTOHmROx
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 6, 2020
This dissatisfaction was revealed by Wales skipper Alun-Wyn Jones during an Ospreys media conference on Monday. “It comes to a point where you need to be honest,” he said. “There are guys who are doing everything they can, being questioned and answering those questions to the press and trying to do it on the pitch. There are probably other people who aren’t being held to account.
“I’m not going to name names, but there were eyebrows raised about recruitment, and the squad that we had and the success that we probably had in the past papered over the cracks. We find ourselves where we are. There are a series of decisions and actions that probably haven’t supported the rugby side of the business.”
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