Aviva Premiership
Diamond to coach Sharks
ESPNscrum Staff
March 26, 2012
Sale Sharks' director of sport Steve Diamond, Sale Sharks v Gloucester, Aviva Premiership, Edgeley Park, Stockport, England, October 8, 2011
Steve Diamond will return to the Sharks' coaching ranks for the rest of the season © Getty Images
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Sale Sharks chief executive Steve Diamond will take charge of the Aviva Premiership side for the rest of the season following the departure of coach Tony Hanks.

Hanks parted company with the club following the Sharks' 45-9 defeat to Saracens at Edgeley Park on Friday night having only signed a one-year contract extension last month. Diamond, who became the Sharks' chief executive last month having joined the club last year as executive director of sport, promised changes in the wake of the five-try mauling and Hanks' exit was announced the following morning.

Diamond did not hold back in his post-match comments with his side's defensive shortcomings reportedly set to lead to the recruitment of a specialist coach as well as a new head coach. "That was a totally unacceptable performance," Diamond said following his side's 10th defeat of the Premiership campaign that leaves them in seventh place in the table and outside the qualification spots for next season's Heineken Cup.

Friday night's loss was also the third game in a row in which the Sharks conceded more than 30 points. Diamond was scathing in his assessment: "Defensively we were a shambles. We've got to look at ourselves really, look at what we're doing behind the scenes as a coaching team and make sure what we are doing transpires. There will be changes afoot all over the show."

Diamond has overseen a re-vamp of the playing squad since his arrival at the club and next season will see the addition of the likes of Scotland international lock Richie Gray and former England international fly-half Danny Cipriani to the Sharks' ranks.

The club are also poised to announce a ground-share with rugby league neighbours the Salford City Reds with both teams set to play at the 12,000-capacity City of Salford Community Stadium as of next season. The Sharks have called a press conference for Wednesday before their return to Premiership action against relegation-threatened Newcastle on Friday night.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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