RaboDirect PRO12
Holley and Johnson leave Ospreys
ESPNscrum Staff
February 15, 2012
Ospreys coach Sean Holley, Ospreys training ground, Llandarcy, Swansea, Wales, December 1, 2011
Sean Holley has left the Ospreys with immediate effect © Getty Images

Ospreys have parted company with head coach Sean Holley and director of coaching Scott Johnson with immediate effect.

Johnson had already confirmed in December that he would be leaving the Welsh Region at the end of the season to take up a role with Scotland. And following discussions with the board it was announced on Wednesday that he, along with Holley, would leave the Ospreys straight away.

The Ospreys confirmed that Holley, who has been with them since their inception in 2003, has left by mutual consent following a review of their coaching set-up.

"Professional sport is a fast-moving and ever-changing environment and after nine years in office we feel that the time is now right to freshen things up and look at alternative options," Ospreys managing director Mike Cuddy said.

Johnson said: "When I informed the board in December that I wouldn't be renewing my contract, I made the offer to stand down at that time but they felt that it would be better for the organisation if I remained in office to help provide some stability during what was inevitably going to something of a transitional period.

"Since then we've been in constant dialogue and six weeks down the line, we've agreed that the time is right for me to move on so we've shaken hands and I'm walking away early from the remainder of my contract."

Holley has paid the price for the Ospreys' continued lack of success in the Heineken Cup. In 2010 they lost to Biarritz in the quarter-finals, but they have failed to qualify for the knockout stages since.

The RaboDirect Pro12 League has been a happier hunting ground, however, after they won the competition in 2010, the third of the region's three Celtic League titles. And while they also lie second in this season's table, it is their shortcomings in Europe that have proved decisive.

"Sean has been an excellent servant to the region over the last nine years and can be justifiably proud of all he has achieved with the Ospreys," said Cuddy. "Sean is in agreement with us that he too is now in a position where he needs a new challenge.

"By moving on with immediate effect, it allows both him and the Ospreys to draw a clear line under the past and move forward with a fresh impetus. Sean will always be welcome at the Ospreys and we hope that he doesn't become a stranger.

"The region would have been a far worse place had he not spent the last nine years here making history."

Holley added: "The Ospreys will always be my home region. It's been a rollercoaster of a ride but I can honestly say I have thrived on it, put my heart and soul into it and tried to embrace it. I could not have survived the constant expectation and pressure that comes with the job without the support of my family and friends, many of our true supporters, and in particular the team management and the players.

"We've been the most successful Welsh region in so many disciplines through the first nine years and although regional rugby is going through tough, transitional times I feel I am leaving the rugby department in good shape with excellent young coaches and players.

"I am now looking forward to exploring some new challenges and opportunities that have been presented to me and to enjoying the next part of my career."

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