Guinness Premiership
Worcester close in on new boss
May 19, 2010

Worcester have drawn up an eight-man shortlist in their search for a successor to rugby director Mike Ruddock.

Ruddock resigned last month after Worcester's 12-10 defeat against Leeds Carnegie condemned them to relegation from the Guinness Premiership. Former Gloucester boss Dean Ryan and ex-Bristol head coach Richard Hill are believed to be among the leading contenders, while the post has also attracted considerable overseas interest.

Warriors general manager Charlie Little confirmed more than 30 formal applications were received, which has now been whittled down to eight. Meetings are under way with prospective coaches.

"What is crucial is the criteria we have drawn up to get the right man for the job," said Little. "The process that the (Worcester) chairman (Cecil Duckworth) has taken on has involved a number of parties, including consulting Kevin Bowring, head of elite coach development at the Rugby Football Union. Kevin is employed by the RFU to assess all coaches who get to elite level, and we have asked him to give us an insight and help us draw up the shortlist.

"We have had an internal and external review into the playing department and the way forward. We are looking at key areas that will help the club make the final and correct decision. It is going to take more than 30 games to win the Championship, so we need someone with strong club rugby experience.

"We also want someone who is ambitious and driven with a point to prove. The club must be taken forward over the next three to four years, so we have to appoint someone who we can build the future around. The successful candidate will also be someone who is technically very good on the training field, certainly has experience in northern hemisphere rugby and has within his armoury the ability to coach us through the Championship and back into the Premiership."

The race for Championship silverware, meanwhile, hots up tonight when Exeter host Bristol in the first leg of the final. The winners will be decided following next Wednesday's return game in Bristol.


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