Aviva Premiership
Hanks parts ways with Wasps
ESPNscrum Staff
February 17, 2011
Wasps director of rugby Tony Hanks, Glasgow v Wasps, Heineken Cup, Firhill, Glasgow, Scotland, January 16, 2011
Tony Hanks has left Wasps © Getty Images

Wasps director of rugby Tony Hanks has left the Aviva Premiership club by mutual consent, joining Leeds boss Andy Key on the sidelines after his dismissal by the Yorkshire strugglers.

Hanks, who took the reins at Adams Park in May 2009 following the departure of Sir Ian McGeechan, has paid the price for some poor recent results and below-par performances.

Wasps are currently sixth in the Premiership, having slipped to a 10-9 home defeat to play-off rivals Gloucester last weekend, and exited the Heineken Cup at the Pool stages thanks to a loss away to Glasgow Warriors in January. The former European champions have won only one of their last six games in all competitions.

Head coach Shaun Edwards will take charge of the side for Saturday's league clash against champions Leicester at Welford Road.

Wasps chief executive Chris Thomas says the search for Hanks' replacement will begin immediately.

"Results have not gone as we would have liked this season and we have been disappointed with recent performances," he said. "Tony has been equally disappointed with how things are going on the pitch as he has always been wholeheartedly committed to the club with a strong desire to see it succeed. Both parties believe that the time is right for change to give the squad a fresh start and the club is now looking forward."

Hanks, the former Waikato coach, expressed his disappointment at what he termed 'a really tough decision'. He had previously headed up Wasps' back-room team when McGeechan was allowed time to prepare for leading the 2009 British & Irish Lions in South Africa and also worked with Wasps under the Scot's predecessor, Warren Gatland.

"I am naturally disappointed to be leaving the club, and this has been a really tough decision to come to," he said. "In my time here over many years I have developed a very strong bond with the players and staff and I want to thank them for their hard work and commitment.

"I have huge respect for Wasps and I wish everyone the best. I am confident there is a special group of players coming through and that the club will be successful in the future."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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