After winning just one of their opening eight games of the season, the Ospreys have parted ways with head coach Allen Clarke.
The Northern Irishman leaves the post that he has held for just over a year with his former side sitting second from bottom in Conference A in the Pro14 and at the bottom of their group in the Champions Cup.
The region have struggled this season with a combination of players being at the Rugby World Cup and injuries, and Clarke has had to operate with a decimated squad which has seen Dan Lydiate start at lock. It is for that reason some people are sympathetic towards the former head coach, as he did guide the Ospreys to the Champions Cup last season, the only coach in Wales to do so.
Moreover, many have been critical of the entire structure of the Ospreys, suggesting this was an impossible task to Clarke to have any success.
However, some are still critical of how the Ospreys have played over the past 15 months, and although injuries are an excuse this season, that does not seem to be a legitimate reason, with the players’ conditioning even coming under fire.
I don't think any coach will make a difference to the Ospreys imo at the moment.
— sp?????? p?l? (@AledRichards) November 26, 2019
No decent coach will work with the circus Upstairs
— Ian Andrew Lewis (@ianlew17) November 26, 2019
Seriously, who do they get to replace him? Howley??
— Rob Thomas (@robthomas_1) November 26, 2019
— Lee PIDGE Williams (@Leewill98545285) November 27, 2019
What does seem abundantly clear is that this does not seem like a job that many would-be desirous of. The next coach would be inheriting an injury-ravaged squad, which includes marquee summer signing Gareth Anscombe being out for the season, meaning they face a mammoth task of achieving any success.
Not a huge surprise considering the results. Although they have struggled with injuries and players away at the World Cup. Who next? Will be a challenging job.
— Brockster6??7??????????? (@Brockster67) November 26, 2019
Can't blame the coach – management & recruitment have been shocking for years.
The library stadium & team are a skeleton of what was formerly to be Wales best region.
Would have been better not to be in champions cup. Sadly just embarrassing irrespective of injuries.
— Eif (@eifp) November 26, 2019
It will be very interesting to see who replaces Allen Clarke at Ospreys. Can't see many people wanting that job.
— Ross Barnett (@rbarnett08) November 26, 2019
While some fans have suggested coaches like Rob Howley and Mike Ruddock to take over, the consensus seems to be that this will not only be a challenge for the next coach, but it will be a challenge in itself to even find a willing replacement. What is worse, is that there is a demand for a high calibre coach to revive the Ospreys’ poor fortunes in recent years, which only makes the recruitment process harder.
If or when the @ospreys decide to announce Allen Clarke’s departure, can we please get away from this nonsense policy of promoting from within for the head coach position. Can we please try and make a decent decision that’s going to allow us to compete.
— Keith Williams (@sailor_bill) November 27, 2019
Clarke let the Ospreys then.
Who would want to come in and coach them in his place?
A bit of a poisoned chalice.
— Haydn Davies (@haydn_davies) November 26, 2019
This time last year I wouldn't have been surprised at this news but at the current moment I am. Who's going to want to come in to a squad as decimated as the Ospreys is right now. In fact, I doubt any sensible coach would want to join any of the Welsh clubs at this point. https://t.co/wu1deUnQdJ
— Steve Grant (@SteveG1809) November 26, 2019
My coaching team selection for the Ospreys would be head coach Phil Davies, forwards coach Royston Neil Davies, backs coach Mark Jones and player/defence coach Scott Williams. I truly believe this team would deliver improvements to the region.
— JONATHAN WOOLDRIDGE (@JONWOOLDRIDGE82) November 27, 2019
The 44-3 loss to Saracens at Allianz Park last Saturday may have been the final nail in the coffin for Clarke, and question will now be who replaces him.
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