Guinness Premiership
McGeechan quits Wasps
May 15, 2009
Wasps Director of Rugby Ian McGeechan looks on during the Guinness Premiership against Saracens at Adams Park in High Wycombe, England on December 20, 2008.
Ian McGeechan has been in charge of the Premiership club for the past four seasons © Getty Images
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Ian McGeechan has stepped down as director of rugby at Wasps and Tony Hanks has been confirmed as his successor.

McGeechan, head coach for the Lions' tour to South Africa which begins later this month, spent four seasons at the club and could yet be handed a consultancy role. The 62-year-old said, "We are currently discussing the format of my involvement next year to ensure a successful transition takes place."

McGeechan masterminded success in the Guinness Premiership, Heineken Cup and Powergen Cup after replacing Warren Gatland in 2005 but Wasps have endured lean pickings this year. For the first time in seven seasons they failed to lift any silverware and finished a disappointing seventh in the Premiership table.

In a further blow to the most prolific English club of recent times, they can only qualify for the Heineken Cup if Northampton lose to Bourgoin in the Challenge Cup final next Friday. McGeechan said, "Following discussions with Wasps I will step down from my position as director of rugby. This decision has been part of an ongoing dialogue with the club, which began with executive chairman Mark Rigby in January.

"I informed him that one of the options I was considering was to finish as director of rugby at the end of the season. I did this because I believe succession, planning and stability are very important and have been a key component in Wasps' success.

"I would like to wish my successor, as well as everyone else at the club, all the very best for the future. I'm proud of the club's achievements in winning three major trophies during my time."

The Scot has been on a sabbatical this season due to his commitments with the Lions, who have been paying his salary.

Rigby said, "Ian leaves the role with our best wishes and enormous thanks and he will be remembered as a key member of the Wasps coaching dynasty. This announcement marks the start of the next chapter in our history and it is made with Ian's backing and contribution."

Hanks, the Waikato boss, as was speculated has been confirmed as McGeechan's successor at Adams Park while Shaun Edwards, the Lions' defence chief, retains his position as head coach. A new forwards coach is due to be appointed shortly.

The New Zealander has a lengthy association with Wasps, joining the Club in 2002 under the then Director of Rugby, Warren Gatland. Working as a Technical Analyst and Assistant Coach for the side, Hanks was a key part of the coaching set up that secured three Premiership titles, a Heineken Cup and Parker Pen Shield in just three seasons.

Departing the club in 2005, Hanks returned to New Zealand where he took on the role of Assistant Coach with the Waikato provincial team between 2005 and 2007, securing the Air New Zealand Cup in 2006 and the Ranfurly Shield a year later.

Throughout 2006 and 2007 he also worked for the Super 14 side, the Chiefs, as Technical Analyst and Skills Coach, combining the same role with the Junior All Blacks. In 2008 he was promoted to Head Coach of Waikato - a role he now leaves for the new post with Wasps.


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