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Last Updated: Wednesday, 24 October 2007, 06:27 GMT 07:27 UK
Ruddock criticises WRU decision
Mike Ruddock
Ruddock feels the WRU were 'harsh'
Former Wales coach Mike Ruddock has criticised the Welsh Rugby Union's handling of Gareth Jenkins' dismissal.

Jenkins was sacked three weeks ago, the day after Wales crashed out of the World Cup after their defeat to Fiji.

But Grand Slam winner Ruddock told BBC programme Sport Wales that the WRU's treatment of Jenkins was rough.

"I've got to say, to dismiss Gareth Jenkins the day after the game against Fiji and ask him to travel home with the squad was harsh," said Ruddock.

"Ultimately, as coaches we know we are all judged on results and I'm sure Gareth knows that as well as I do," he added.

"But I thought that was a very harsh way of doing things.

It's not the first time that Welsh coaches have had that type of treatment

Mike Ruddock

"But there we are - it's not the first time that Welsh coaches have had that type of treatment.

"I just hope, for Welsh rugby's sake, that the next coach is given a big opportunity to take the team forward."

Ruddock, who was stood down as Wales coach midway through the 2006 Six Nations, is now in charge at Worcester. They face the Ospreys on Saturday in the opening weekend of the EDF Energy Cup.

Wales are searching for a new national coach and have made an approach to World Cup winner Jake White, whose contract with South Africa runs until the end of the year.

Jenkins has not been offered another role within the Welsh system, but Ruddock feels more should be done to maintain the experience and expertise of those Welsh coaches who have spent time with the national squad.

"I'm sure if you ask any Welsh coach - like Lynn Howells, who's with Doncaster now, Allan Lewis, who's in Hartbury College, Geraint John, who's out in Canada, Clive Griffiths, who's with me here in Worcester, and Kevin Bowring, who's at the RFU - they would like to put something back.

"There are a lot of guys lost to Welsh rugby. It might be worth sitting down with them and seeing if they can be utilised."

Ruddock's assistant at Worcester, Clive Griffiths, believes Wales' search overseas for a new coach is misguided.

Griffiths said: "They are swapping and changing all the time and going for the Hollywood-type selection.

"It forms an illusion of them doing something, but at the end of the day what does it give us?"


The WRU have taken a lot of flak for their handling of the Jenkins sacking, but issued a statement following Ruddock's comments.

It said that the departure of Gareth Jenkins was handled in a way that prevented him from having to face the media in Wales.

The statement also said, that they were anxious to keep in touch with anyone with the talents to help the game in Wales.

* Sport Wales - BBC 2 Wales and BBC2W, Thursday 22:00 BST and Friday 21:00 BST (BBC2W).

BBC Sport Wales coverage
07 Aug 07 |  Wales


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