Super Rugby
Friend axed by Brumbies
ESPNscrum Staff
March 1, 2011
Brumbies coach Andy Friend has been sacked © Getty Images

Head coach Andy Friend has been shown the door by the Brumbies in the wake of their Super Rugby loss to the Melbourne Rebels.

ACT chief executive Andrew Fagan denied claims that a player revolt was the catalyst for the sacking however, insisting that it was his call to axe Friend, who was in the third and final year of his contract.

The two-time Super Rugby champions have finished sixth and seventh in the last two seasons.

"It was my decision," Fagan said."I took the decision having reviewed the situation over a good period of time, having spoken to a wide range of people including players obviously, and it just became clear that we weren't going to be able to run the program effectively to give us the best chance of success.

"It's a very, very difficult decision that we've taken. It's been taken in the best interests of our members, of the team and the organisation, with a view to giving us the best chance of success in 2011.

"We did put in place some remedial steps a couple of weeks ago to try and address some of the issues that we were facing but I felt that these steps had not produced the results that we desired.

"I think it just got to a point where I felt as though if we're going to give this tournament a shake this year then we needed to make a change and we needed to make it immediately."

Former NRL player and assistant coach Tony Rea has been appointed as caretaker boss until the end of the season. Attack coach Stephen Larkham, forwards coach Justin Harrison and scrum guru Marco Caputo will serve as his assistants.

"Andy was understandably upset and it's not news that I took any pleasure in delivering," Fagan said. "It would be much easier to not arrive at this decision...but you've got to make the right decision. It's a difficult environment that the players have now. I think once they overcome the gravity of this situation their focus will be very much on achieving success in 2011. They support the decision.

"I've spoken to them this morning and they made it very clear that they were tight as a group and they were going to get on with their job as players, which is trying to produce the best on the field that they can produce."

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