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Page last updated at 13:35 GMT, Saturday, 17 May 2008 14:35 UK

Ospreys move no shock - Cockbain

Brent Cockbain believes the Ospreys need a fresh start
Brent Cockbain believes the Ospreys need a fresh start

Former Wales lock Brent Cockbain says it is no surprise that Lyn Jones has departed as Ospreys head coach.

The EDF Cup winners announced on Friday that Jones would be leaving his post "by mutual consent", having led the Welsh region since its 2003 inception.

"It's been on the cards for a little while," Cockbain, who left the Ospreys to join Sale in December, told the BBC.

"There's been pressure the last few seasons with the Ospreys not doing as well... given the resources and staff."

Despite lifting the EDF Energy Cup this season by beating Leicester, avenging last year's defeat at Twickenham by the same opponents, the Ospreys have been regarded as under-achievers.

The Magners League campaign, where they finished seventh, saw the Ospreys victims of their own success as they provided the bulk of Wales' Grand Slam-winning side.


But the big-spenders were at full strength for the Heineken Cup and installed as one of the favourites.

The Ospreys should have topped their pool and secured home advantage but let slip their early dominance in a crucial game at Kingsholm, losing to Gloucester and handing the Cherry and Whites top spot.

Even then the Ospreys should have claimed a place in the semi-finals, needing to win at Saracens - a team they had soundly beaten two weeks before in the EDF semis - but being out-foxed at Vicarage Road in the quarters.

"Most people agree that if it was soccer then the manager would have been sacked long before this," Cockbain added.

"But he's a very good technical coach, it's very difficult being a coach because you've always got to try and manage people."

Cockbain believes that a new coach is needed to energise the Ospreys, with former Wales coaches Steve Hansen and Scott Johnson believed to be two names in the frame.

The pair worked closely in the national set-up with new Ospreys elite performance director Andrew Hore, who is tasked with finding Jones' successor.

"For rugby in particular it's good and it's healthy to have someone come in, change the guard after three or four years in a coaching job and then move on," Cockbain said.

"With a changing of the guard we might see a similar thing that happened to Wales with Gareth Jenkins leaving [and Warren Gatland taking over].

"There's all the rumours about Scott Johnson and Steve Hansen because of the Andrew Hore connection."

see also
Under-fire Jones defends Ospreys
10 Apr 08 |  Ospreys
Ospreys ask Hopkins to aid Jones
30 Sep 06 |  Ospreys
BBC Sport Wales coverage
01 May 06 |  Wales
Heineken Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Magners Celtic League
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
Anglo-Welsh Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union

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