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The classy tweet Jonathan Thomas posted after his Worcester exit

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

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Jonathan Thomas unfortunately didn’t last all that long as the head coach at Worcester following the arrival of Steve Diamond as lead rugby consultant, the ex-Wales forward leaving the club with immediate effect on Tuesday just eight weeks after the former Sale director of rugby arrived in to start work at Sixways on November 29.

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Diamond has been handed control of the onfield rugby operations at the Gallagher Premiership club with immediate effect and he will go on to succeed Alan Solomons as the director of rugby on a two-year deal at the end of this season. 

It’s an upheaval that Thomas didn’t see coming judging by his remarks two months when in conversation with RugbyPass at one of his weekly Worcester media briefings. It was only last January when he had been promoted from defence to head coach at the club under Solomons and his initial chat with Diamond didn’t at all hint that he would be out on his ear before the end of January.  

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“The thing I came away with from the conversation I had with Steve was he has done his due diligence on the club and he recognises that there is a lot of good people, players and staff, at the club and he recognises there is a lot of good work going on and the biggest thing he said to me is with his experience he feels he can come in and add value. 

“He was very respectful of what is going on and he will come in and just add value to the existing process that is already in place… Steve’s appointment is until the end of the season and decisions will be made in due course.”

Those Worcester decisions have now resulted in Thomas getting bumped out of his job, quite a turn of events given he only completed in the summer a major overhaul of the squad he had inherited from Solomons’ stint as the lead coach. There was no public bitterness, though, following his removal from a role he held for just twelve months and what he posted to Twitter reflected well on him.  

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“Nothing but big love for the players, coaches, support staff and supporters at Worcester Warriors. This team is ready to take off over the next twelve months. Awesome young players coming through and I have really enjoyed putting some good foundations in place,” he wrote. 

Diamond held a media briefing later on Tuesday afternoon at which he only briefly referenced the sudden departure of Thomas. “I can’t really speak about that, if I am honest. It was a decision made by the board. All I can say is that I have been given the reins, moving forward, and hopefully I will continue the good work that he did.”

Worcester are currently twelfth in the Premiership, having won just three of their league games ahead of hosting Northampton on Saturday. Diamond hopes his more abrasive approach to running a rugby club will soon have a positive effect.

“There are a lot of good people here, fantastic facilities and a lot of good players, and the previous management team did a pretty good job. I bring a different edge than what they had, if I am honest, a little bit more abrasive in our approach.

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“Not taking anything away from previous people who have done the job, I have a different outlook on how we should play and we have got the resources here to do that. I spent two months helping, advising, watching, listening – a helicopter view, whatever you want to call it. I made some recommendations and they have been implemented.

“We have certainly got the talent, it’s just putting all the ingredients into the saucepan. The ingredients are here – they have just not been utilised as well as they could have been.”

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