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Last Updated: Thursday, 16 February 2006, 10:40 GMT
Ruddock told to quit immediately
Mike Ruddock is adamant he quit to spend time with his family
Mike Ruddock says he wanted to stay on as Wales coach until the end of the Six Nations but was told to stand down immediately by the Welsh Rugby Union.

Ruddock pulled out of talks about a new contract so that he could spend more time with his family and the WRU decided that he should go now.

"I'd rather have stayed and seen the job through. That's what I told the WRU," Ruddock told BBC Radio Five Live.

"Having said that I respect the fact they decided to make the change now."

Ruddock surprisingly stood down on Tuesday night, just 11 months after leading Wales to their first Grand Slam triumph since 1978.

He denied his decision to stand down as coach of the Wales team was a result of player power and reiterated that he quit to spend more time with his family.

"Being coach of Wales is more than a job and I had six days away last year in terms of holidays," he said.

"I have a gorgeous family with three great kids.

"The thought of going on to the World Cup, with even more time away and going to places like Australia on a summer tour, made me reflect and wonder whether I was prepared to give that commitment for another year and a half."

Ruddock won 13 of his 20 Test matches in charge, including the 2005 Grand Slam and a first win over Australia in 18 years.

Being the Welsh coach is pretty significant, I believe
Mike Ruddock

But he said the pressures of his job had worn him down.

"There is a huge demand on the Welsh national coach every hour of every day of the week," he added.

"Not just in terms of preparing the team for matches but commenting on all the other factors from players writing books to people being in the news for other reasons to suspensions and injuries.

"It's very high profile, very demanding. It's very enjoyable but it's something that the thought of another 18 months at that intensity was something I decided I did not want to do."

Ruddock added that despite the disappointment of leaving earlier than he wanted, he was very proud of his record.

"Being the Welsh coach is pretty significant, I believe," he said.

"I am proud of my record of winning the first Grand Slam for 27 years as part of the coaching team, and part of team Wales, that was very together.

"It's obvious from comments Gareth Thomas and Michael Owen have made that the team was very much together right the way through. I'm very proud of that fact."




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Former Wales boss Mike Ruddock



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Ruddock & players deny Wales rift
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Welsh stunned by Ruddock's exit
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Ruddock steps down as Wales coach
14 Feb 06 |  Six Nations


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