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Page last updated at 15:39 GMT, Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Cornish Pirates sack coach Hewitt

Mark Hewitt
Hewitt has been sacked after less than a year in charge

The Cornish Pirates have sacked their head coach Mark Hewitt and revealed players face a wage cut next season.

Hewitt had been in charge for almost a year but Sunday's 39-8 defeat at Nottingham in the EDF National Trophy proved to be his ultimate downfall.

Hewitt told BBC Spotlight: "It's been a real eye-opener over the past 12 months and a pressure cooker of a job.

"The undoubted highlight was winning the National Trophy two years ago at Twickenham as forwards coach."

Hewitt added: "The Pirates will be relentless in their pursuit of Premiership rugby and with it, there will be inevitable coaching casualties."

"I'm not the first to go and certainly won't be the last. But I wish all at the club every success in the future."

The 49-year-old will be succeeded by assistant coach Brett Davey.

Pirates owner Dicky Evans confirmed: "Players contracted for next season would be required to take a pay cut.

"Having launched a fundraising effort to pay their salaries, all of you as well as myself had the right to expect more going forward from a well-paid squad of players and coaches."

Following Hewitt's dismissal, Evans said the club had been on a "rollercoaster ride of emotion" this season.

"The appalling humiliation at Nottingham on Sunday in such an important game for us both financially and in terms of esteem was frankly unacceptable and the straw that has broken the camel's back."

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see also
Nottingham 39-8 Cornish Pirates
16 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
Molenaar itching to face Pirates
12 Feb 09 |  English
Bay could host Pirates in Trophy
09 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
South West sport hit by weather
06 Feb 09 |  Sport Homepage

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